Since I started SISG in 2007 I've always been fascinated by the development of green standards and certifications and have covered them extensively. Some of the more influential ones like FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and MSC (Marine Stweardship Council) provide consumers with criteria to help evaluate the sustainablity of products they purchase.
It was a surprise when the news broke that Apple had notified EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) to pull all of its 39 certified products from the EPEAT green products list.
EPEAT like many green standards work by being accepted by consumers and adopted by manufacturers/companies.
EPEAT is widely used by businesses, government agencies and academic institutions as factor in the purchase of new computers or electornic equipment.
The WSJ has reported EPEAT is used as a factor in the purchase of electronic equipment by 222 of the 300 universities with the largest endowments and 70 of those 300 institutions required EPEAT certification for purchase.
Speculation online has turned to the new Apple Macbook Pro with Retina display as the product that may have prompted the move. IFixit published a fascinating piece where they concluded the new Apple laptop is virtually impossible to deconstruct. The ability for a product to be broken down after use for recycling is a key component of EPEAT certification.
So what exactly is going on here? Has Apple concluded design is more important than the enviornment?