Apple has asked the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) program, a US EPA-funded organisation that ranks technology on environmental guidelines, to pull its 39 computers, laptops and monitors off a list of green products.
In a weekend interview with CIO Journal, EPEAT CEO Robert Frisbee confirmed that Apple last month made the decision to remove its products from the environmental website by the end of June.
“They said their design direction was no longer consistent with the EPEAT requirements,” Frisbee said. “They were important supporters and we are disappointed that they don’t want their products measured by this standard anymore.”
Frisbee told CIO Journal that the structure of Apple’s newest MacBook Pro with Retina display would have made it ineligible.
“If the battery is glued to the case it means you can’t recycle the case and you can’t recycle the battery,” Frisbee said.
In June the repair website iFixit stripped down the Retina display laptop and found the MacBook Pro to be very hard to repair, giving it one out of 10 for ease-of-repair.
“The lithium-polymer battery is glued rather than screwed into the case, which increases the chances that it’ll break during disassembly,” iFixit said in its report. “The battery also covers the trackpad cable, which tremendously increases the chance that the user will shear the cable in the battery removal process.”
It went on to say that the 2880 x 1800-pixel Retina display assembly “is completely fused, and there’s no glass protecting it. If anything ever fails inside the display, you will need to replace the entire, extremely expensive assembly.”
Apple’s decision may have wide reaching financial consequences, with a number of corporations and universities preferring EPEAT-certified electronics.
According to the CIO report, the “US Government requires that 95 percent of the electronics it purchases be EPEAT certified” and “222 out of the 300 American universities with the largest endowments asked their IT departments to give preference to EPEAT certified computers.”