Last week, the news came out that Apple had recently removed 39 of its products from the EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) registry. EPEAT is essentially a list of environmentally friendly products.

There’s already been a significant amount of backlash — from both the media and consumers — regarding the announcement. So last night, the company decided to comment on the matter…

Apple representative Kristin Huguet told The Loop:

“Apple takes a comprehensive approach to measuring our environmental impact and all of our products meet the strictest energy efficiency standards backed by the US government, Energy Star 5.2. We also lead the industry by reporting each product’s greenhouse gas emissions on our website, and Apple products are superior in other important environmental areas not measured by EPEAT, such as removal of toxic materials.”

The Loop goes on to point out that in addition to not measuring toxins, EPEAT also doesn’t account for smartphones and tablets — products that happen to make up a large percentage of Apple’s sales and revenue.

But that doesn’t mean that the move isn’t going to have repercussions. Word is that the city of San Francisco has already announced plans to avoid future Apple purchases due to the EPEAT withdraw. And we’re sure there will be several others to follow.

For a bit of context, Apple was essentially forced to withdraw its products from the EPEAT registry due to the nature of their designs. To make the list, devices must have removable batteries and be repairable with basic hand tools.

What do you think? Is this EPEAT thing a major concern, or will it all just blow over?

  • having a non-replaceable battery and making it harder to repair with basic tools almost makes it a disposable product. so when your battery is dead, you do what Apple wants you to do, buy a new iPhone or a new MacBook Pro.

    seems like Apple products are getting harder and harder to repair. a cracked screen on a 4th gen iPod Touch was a pain compared to previous ones. the 3GS was easy to work on, but the 4S is a pain.

    • I think youre missing the point. The parts must be removable to be disposed of properly. You dont merely throw away the whole phone/device, you separate the battery and other major pieces to dispose it properly. This can’t easily be done on Apple products hence the article. Also having a replaceable battery and such will make products last longer, making less waste.

      • How does Apple recycle their products then? Clearly its possible and not very expensive if they do it for free at their stores.

      • they have to pay mexicans to dissamble them

      • Because Apple patented the tools they use to disassemble their products. The screwdrivers they use were made by their office and then patented to not be sold anywhere. Apple can take any of their products apart easily, but the general public can’t.

      • Can’t tell if you are being serious or sarcastic… I have taken many iPods / iPhones apart. It wasn’t until the iPod Touch 4th gen that Apple seemed to make a crazy decision to make it hard to repair things like broken digitizer screens. They started gluing the digitizer to the LCD so you have to spend 5 minutes with a heatgun to get the glass free from the LCD.

        All the tools I have used to take things apart have been small tipped screwdrivers that I use on an almost regular basis at my job. I’ve taken apart my iMac but never taken apart a MacBook / Air, so I don’t know what they have on the inside, but pretty much everything else I have opened up from Apple seemed to use regular screws, nothing proprietary created by Apple.

  • One consideration of Apple’s design, is yes, the battery is not designed to be switched out, which is good from an environmental design – how many people buy spare batteries for other phones / smart phones and then never dispose of them properly, or lose them or ???.

    With the battery being encased inside, you have to recycle the entire phone, which is essentially done when you trade it in for a new model.

    Depending on the condition of your “old” phone, it will either be recycled for the precious metals, or it will be refurbished and sold in the secondary market, like third world countries.

    I really think what Apple is hoping that EPEAT will do is update their qualifications – because Apple is correct, there are much more sealed phones and tablets out on the market today, and in the future this will significantly increase. The sealed battery design is a far superior design, as it keeps the internal electronics better protected, and it also keeps the device slimmer.

  • I’m on the fence with this one. It would be good to have replaceable parts, and to be able to take apart the products easily, but at the same time, sealed products makes the consumer somewhat more likely to turn it in to Apple so they can do what they want with it. I don’t like the Retina MacBook Pro’s approach though. One thing breaks, and you just lost a 2200 computer if you don’t have insurance.