Apple has done an increasingly good job of creating environmentally-friendly products, but the company did something the other day that probably has both environmentalists and some customers scratching their heads. The company has removed the EPEAT green electronics certification from its products, and won't be submitting products to the global registry for rating in the future.
Reporter Joel Schectman at the Wall Street Journal says that Apple asked to have all 39 EPEAT certified devices pulled from the registry. EPEAT's CEO, Robert Frisbee, told Schectman that "They (Apple) said their design direction was no longer consistent with the EPEAT requirements." This is visible in the new MacBook Pro with Retina display, which uses parts that are glued into the case for space considerations. This makes the device almost impossible to fully disassemble for recycling.
Some government agencies and school districts make recycling of electronics a criteria for purchasing, although it's not known what effect the EPEAT pullback could have on sales of the devices. Sarah O'Brien, director of outreach for EPEAT, said that corporations such as Ford and Kaiser Permanente require CIOs for purchase EPEAT certified sources, and the U.S. government requires 95% of all electronics purchased carry EPEAT certification.