Apple has recently decided to remove its products from the U.S. government-backed registration of environmentally friendly electronics, EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool). EPEAT awards products a seal to certify that they are recyclable and designed to maximize energy efficiency and minimize environmental harm. Products are rated on criteria such as how recyclable the components are, which toxic materials are in the product, how long the product is expected to last, and what types of packaging materials are used.
Apple’s decision to remove its products doesn’t necessarily mean that Apple is planning to move to a more toxic manufacturing process for its computers, but it does exclude Mac products from the selection process for organizations that require EPEAT certification for the technology they purchase.
The CEO of EPEAT, Robert Frisbee, told CIO Journal that the products Apple asked EPEAT to pull off the list of green products late last month include its 39 certified desktop computers, monitors and laptops, including the past version of the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.
Apple’s reason for pulling its products from the EPEAT registry seems to be that it no longer fits with the company’s new design and manufacturing process.
The do-it-yourself electronics repair website, iFixit, has said the MacBook Pro with Retina display is very difficult to fully disassemble. Co-founder Kyle Wiens found the battery glued to the case and the glass display was glued to its back.
According to EPEAT, this latest MacBook Pro has not been submitted for EPEAT certification. Frisbee has said that it would not have met EPEAT requirements because if the battery is glued to the case then it means neither the case nor battery can be recycled.
An analyst at Sterne Agee, Shaw Wu, has said that Apple has made a design decision, trying to pack as much as possible into a small space, and is not purposely making the product hard to open or difficult to recycle.
Wu believes Apple will eventually create an alternate standard for its own products and believes that companies are still likely to purchase Apple products, even without EPEAT certification.