Despite Apple’s efforts — utilizing large solar farms at all of its major campuses, and offering a recycling program for used products — the company continues to catch heat over its effect on the environment.

And this latest move certainly isn’t going to help its case. Word is that the company has just pulled all of its products from EPEAT’s (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) green-friendly registry…

From EPEAT’s website:

“Apple has notified EPEAT that it is withdrawing its products from the EPEAT registry and will no longer be submitting its products to EPEAT for environmental rating.

EPEAT is the leading global environmental rating system for electronic products, connecting purchasers to environmentally preferable choices and benefiting producers who demonstrate environmental responsibility and innovation.”

This is actually a big deal for Apple, as several companies will only purchase products that are EPEAT-approved. It’s one of the many things that businesses will do to “go green,” enabling them to escape criticism from environmental groups and enjoy healthy tax breaks. So as you can see, Apple could end up losing a lot of business over this decision.

But it may not have had a choice. iFixit explains:

“Apple’s mobile design direction is in conflict with the intended direction of the standard. Specifically, the standard lays out particular requirements for product “disassemble-ability,” a very important consideration for recycling: “External enclosures, chassis, and electronic sub assemblies shall be removable with commonly available tools or by hand.” Electronics recyclers need to take out hazardous components such as batteries before sending computers through their shredders, because batteries can catch fire when punctured.”

So it looks like Apple’s withdraw from EPEAT is directly related to design compromises it’s not willing to make. For instance, none of the company’s mobile devices have a removable battery. And we all know how tough it is to operate on products like the iPad.

The question is, is that ok? Should Apple be sacrificing environmental-friendliness in the name of design?


  • You know not everything will be environmentally friendly and already there efforts on making the server farm COMPLETLY green is way over enough. So I don’t think apple should sacrifice there design for some plastic android phone

  • seyss

    a second worth of pollution from a steel or mining factory is far more damaging than a year worth of recycling apple’s shit

  • “I’ve been an Apple user for a long time.

    I will not be buying a “Retina” MacBook Pro solely because I do not agree with the direction those machines are heading in. If Apple continues to depreciate existing hardware in favour for machines that are literally held together with glue, then I will never buy an Apple laptop again.

    There’s a dozen ways in which Apple could have gone about the assembly of these machines differently, and left the lithium packs easily removable and serviceable. But they didn’t- they sprang for the cheapest and fastest way of assembling the machine and covered the whole thing up with a healthy coating of “because we wanted to make it thinner” marketing ********.

    These machines are disposable, plain and simple- the same way the iPad 2 is. They were never designed to be serviced, they were designed to fail and be replaced. You absolutely 100% have to purchase Applecare with the rMBP because you’d have to be insane not to- if your battery goes, the chassis is toast. If a single bit in your 16GB of main memory (note that the rMBP RAM is not ECC) goes, the logic board is toast. If your iSight breaks, your entire monitor is toast.

    I’m all for thinner and lighter systems, but the rMBP has simply gone too far. And that’s disappointing. And for the first time in a long time, I’m actually siding with the environmentalists on this one- I hope Apple feels the burn of their actions, and that this actually hurts them in the long run.

    Only then will they realize how jaw-droppingly retarded building systems like this actually is, and we might get new models that are only marginally thicker (less then a millimetre) and actually serviceable.” ScottishCaptain on MacRumors.

    I’m extremely disappointed in Apple for doing this, and I hope SC doesn’t mind me copy pasting his entire comment, lol.

    • Yeah but if the product is very well built then there will be no need for changing those components. Apple is working with liquid metal ad trying to master it

      if people prefer getting dust between the glass and LCD display then apple can get rid if the glue.

      Putting a rubber seal will sacrifice size. All devices that are thin and well built are always hard to disassemble and that is completely normal.

      • The Nexus 7 is 1 millimetre thicker than the iPad, yet it is incredibly simple to repair and to disassemble. Your point is moot. iPad is hard to repair and disassemble, not because it is well built, but because Apple doesn’t want you to do either of those things. If something fails, they want to replace the entire device.
        If, for example, your MBP battery fails, good luck replacing it on your own. Nothing, NOTHING prevented Apple from using regular phillips screwdrivers and simply make the battery easily replaceable. But they don’t want you to replace it on your own. Big difference.

      • Outhig

        Agreed. They switched from Philips screws to pentabular screws with the iPhone 4 too -.-

      • Lithium ion battery’s don’t usually fail. Of they were to fail it would be dying the first year of use which is covered by warranty. After that you do your 400 charge cycles and either take it to apple and they replace it for you or you buy a new generation. I don’t see why you personally would have to change the battery when you could take it to apple. Comes to the same price pretty much battery isn’t cheap. Nexus 7 is plastic and doesn’t have cellular or a 260ppi display HUGE difference between the 2 tablets

      • MBPs use polymer batteries, and yes, those also fail. All components eventually fail. The fact that one component doesn’t fail often does not justify fusing it together with other components. That in turn sacrifices repairability and upgradeability.
        What I don’t see is that you don’t seem to understand that I don’t live next to an apple store, and I’m not the only one. The nearest reseller is 200 kilometers from me, and the nearest apple store is more than 500 kilometers away.
        Good thing you mentioned warranty. In the European Union, Apple has to provide a two year warranty on their products, but guess what they did? They didn’t! They forced users to buy Apple Care for something they should have provided for no charge. Why? Because then they make more money.
        No, it doesn’t have a 260ppi display but a 215ppi display. Whoopty doo. Neither does the wifi iPad have cellular, but yet, it is just as thick as the iPad with cellular. You’re talking nonsense. Being made from a different material, again, doesn’t justify it being completely glued together. For something to be well designed, does not require it to be next to impossible to disassemble.
        Don’t you get it already? Apple is just another OEM, here to make money by screwing you over in any way they can. And no, I do not want to waste my hard earned money on buying a completely new notebook every 18 months if I don’t have to. If the battery fails, I will replace it. If RAM fails, I will replace it. Apple does not want me to do so because doing so is not in their interest! In other words, they make more money from naive people like yourself who will waste money on new machines when old ones fail, than from people like me who prefer saving money and replacing the faulty component.
        Apple is not here to help you, but to make money off you!!!

    • Also on a laptop that contains no moving parts like HDD’s and optical drives are less likely to need servicing. As they said in the keynote the only moving part is the fan that’s all. And they use a unibody like design it’s not all glued like you mentioned

      • Don’t pretend how RAM and SSDs never fail. Yes they do, not as often, but they do. And, as SC already mentioned, if it happens to you on a rMBP, you’re going to have to get your entire computer replaced. The thing with the rMBP is that no matter what component fails, replacing other components is imminent. RAM or SSD fails > replace entire logic board, battery fails > replace entire unibody case (or mess around with tons of glue), webcam fails > replace entire display assembly…
        Yes, Apple’s products are shiny, well designed, yada, yada… But this time, I think they went way too far.

  • Fuck that “Go Green” Campiagn. They have taken it too far, and it has gotten out of control. Apple is smart, plus i figured this was the reason they would do something of this nature.

    *Good move for Apple*

  • Marty Cunnane

    I personaly dont really care unless it becomes super bad