Apple (AAPL) backtracks on plans to remove its products from the EPEAT rating system, which...


Apple (AAPL) backtracks on plans to remove its products from the EPEAT rating system, which judges the environmental impact of computing hardware. The decision had led San Francisco's government to suspend Mac purchases for its 28K employees, and had ignited concerns other public-sector buyers would follow suit, given many are required to use of EPEAT's registry when making buying decisions.

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Comments (22)
  • Herr Hansa
    , contributor
    Comments (3130) | Send Message
     
    Wow. That was quick. Guess it does mean something, unlike the claims so many quickly made that it was meaningless.
    13 Jul 2012, 02:21 PM Reply Like
  • Windsun33
    , contributor
    Comments (4431) | Send Message
     
    Makes me wonder why Apple intended to remove the products in the first place - perhaps they don't look so good?
    13 Jul 2012, 02:25 PM Reply Like
  • Windsun33
    , contributor
    Comments (4431) | Send Message
     
    The real issue here is why do governments such as San Francisco even give any credence to such ratings.

     

    The City of Phoenix (where I live) used to have something similar, but a few years back ran into a major problem when NONE of the mfg's or suppliers of a product met the standards imposed. Not long after that fiasco much of the rules were scrapped or revised.

     

    (The product was one of the chemicals used in water treatment, but don't recall which - it would have meant that basically water could not be treated to EPA standards).
    13 Jul 2012, 03:41 PM Reply Like
  • Herr Hansa
    , contributor
    Comments (3130) | Send Message
     
    President George W. Bush issued an executive order mandating EPEAT certification for Federal agency purchases. Many municipalities followed that example.
    13 Jul 2012, 03:43 PM Reply Like
  • Windsun33
    , contributor
    Comments (4431) | Send Message
     
    Thanks for the info - I figured it was based on politics somewhere down the line.
    13 Jul 2012, 03:45 PM Reply Like
  • Vipertom
    , contributor
    Comments (169) | Send Message
     
    It's San Francisco, silly!
    13 Jul 2012, 10:00 PM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (4583) | Send Message
     
    "Makes me wonder why Apple intended to remove the products in the first place - perhaps they don't look so good?"

     

    Apparently, because of the techniques used in manufacturing the thinnest products possible, certain situations, like the battery spilling its highly toxic guts in the event an attempt to remove it is made, give Apple products low EPEAT ratings.

     

    It seems that Apple re-entered EPEAT only partially however, to keep its products on government desks.
    14 Jul 2012, 11:34 AM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (4583) | Send Message
     
    "The real issue here is why do governments such as San Francisco even give any credence to such ratings."

     

    These ratings are not meaningless and provide valuable comparative metrics about products which may have similar functionality and price.

     

    I think it makes lots of sense.
    14 Jul 2012, 11:36 AM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (5080) | Send Message
     
    kmi,

     

    One needs to simply think this through. Do you think the battery can be unremovable if Apple offers a battery replacement service? Of course not. So is there some special tool the iFixit did not use to remove the battery? That seems odd. What tool would break through glue? Maybe there is some process that can be used that iFixit did not use?

     

    Yes, it turns out that you can heat the battery with a hair dryer and soften the glue so that it peels out. So, no, the battery does not leak toxic goo if a competent person handles the machine.

     

    Apple will be wanting to allow the standards to include proper recycling by the manufacturer. This makes sense to me. Germany has long had a law where the manufacturer is responsible for the device when it's useful life has ended. I have no doubt that Apple could do a cleaner and more complete job recycling an old MacBook Pro than a random consumer.

     

    And I don't understand your assertion that they have re-entered EPEAT "only partially". They even gave their Macbook Pros a gold rating. If this is a partial return, what did they leave out?
    14 Jul 2012, 12:18 PM Reply Like
  • BradleyModLover
    , contributor
    Comments (124) | Send Message
     
    Without Steve Jobs, instead of just doing the right thing regardless of the bottom line like previous Apple culture, the suits wait for the public outcry before they resend some stupid decision they made.
    13 Jul 2012, 02:49 PM Reply Like
  • mcclux
    , contributor
    Comments (43) | Send Message
     
    Gimme a break. EPEAT is nothing more than a costly shakedown. Apple likely got rid of it for the same reasons they got rid of Floppy drives and every other piece of technology from their devices that was tipping into obsolescence. The more interesting question is why they decided to bring it back. By the way, invoking the Ghost of Steve and whinging about a supposed change in Apple culture is intellectually lazy and dishonest.
    13 Jul 2012, 03:12 PM Reply Like
  • rkadari
    , contributor
    Comments (81) | Send Message
     
    Bingo!
    13 Jul 2012, 05:10 PM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (5080) | Send Message
     
    Why'd they go back? It appears "all of Apple’s previously registered products, and a number of new products..." are now on the EPEAT registry. (From EPEAT's own website.)

     

    http://www.epeat.net

     

    So they left because the retina display macbook could not get certified and now suddenly they have a "number of new products" on the registry. Imagine that.
    13 Jul 2012, 08:37 PM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (5080) | Send Message
     
    http://bit.ly/LPDhTI

     

    And there it is. Apple 15 inch macbook pro with retina display... Rating? "Gold"

     

    Remind me how much of a "mistake" this was.
    13 Jul 2012, 08:42 PM Reply Like
  • earlalbin
    , contributor
    Comments (98) | Send Message
     
    In general, the battey pollution issue is real, but how it is implemented is just out to lunch, seriously. The buracrats are just sweeping the dirt under another rug.

     

    In most laptops the batteries are detachable and make it easy to properly dispose of them when they are replaced. This puts the ownership on the individual, not the manufacuter, which helps the manufacturer's bottom lime, yea! No responsibility for the environment, yea!

     

    Apple's newest laptops have the battery internal, not easily remmoved if replacement is needed. In any event a person could do it though most people would take it in to an authorized service center.

     

    Here is the contrast, if the batteries have to be replaced at an authorized service centers, licenced bussuiness, under strict pollution control standards, likely they will be responsible, or face stiff fines.

     

    John Q. Public replaces his battery, what is he going to do with the old one? Who knows. We know what John Q. Green will do.

     

    In Apple's model, the spirit of the intent is actually held to a much higher standard, than say Dell or Lenovo or Samsung. We know where Apple's old batteries are going, Apple controls that. We know who to go after if we find Apple batteries in a landfill. Find a Del, Samsung, who you going after?

     

    This is why Apple changed their status. It just goes to show even Green enthusiastics are dumb buracrats too! They have to be hit with a bat sometimes to get it.

     

    FYI, most of the tablets are using this approach. The Android Motorola phones don't, Apple's iPones do. BTW, many many more cell phone batteries in terms of sheer weight than laptops, and most phones have user replaceable batteries. Where is the environmental concern here?
    13 Jul 2012, 03:04 PM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (4583) | Send Message
     
    It's not just about the batteries but about whether repairing and replacing other components as well.

     

    "FYI, most of the tablets are using this approach."

     

    But they aren't being bought by government agencies, are they. EPEAT is why.

     

    Also FYI, currently, iPhones and iPads are exempt from that certification
    14 Jul 2012, 11:39 AM Reply Like
  • Tigerv8
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    It's amazing how much Steve Jobs is starting to be missed. He was really special. A little crazy BUT SPECIAL.
    13 Jul 2012, 03:24 PM Reply Like
  • podmeister
    , contributor
    Comments (171) | Send Message
     
    I've actually worked with standards committees and IEEE, and they work at a snails pace, so I understand Apple's frustration. But... the manufacturing team failed to realize that in the marketplace of public opinion, nobody cares if EPEAT is relevant or not.

     

    I'm glad Bob Mansfield publicly admitted this mistake, it was the right thing to do. At least somebody in management is listening.
    13 Jul 2012, 03:34 PM Reply Like
  • Jax3
    , contributor
    Comments (60) | Send Message
     
    Well yes, suits. Would SJ have changed his mind? Proly not. Would that have been a good thing for sales of the new product? Probably not. Is the current pull back the right thing for the company? Yes.
    Will they make engineering changes or breakthroughs in greening PCs? Which way remains to be seen. What would Steve have done ?

     

    Produced a breakthrough in Batteries in next 18 months.
    13 Jul 2012, 04:22 PM Reply Like
  • rashton32
    , contributor
    Comments (34) | Send Message
     
    It was a dumb-ass move in the first place! Apple needs to protect its image as forward thinking and in tune with environmental issues. God knows we are in for the battle of a life time to protect our environment from the corporate "wolves" that are enabled by the Supreme Court!
    13 Jul 2012, 04:44 PM Reply Like
  • bjnflicks
    , contributor
    Comments (4335) | Send Message
     
    THis was a complete tempest in a teapot and all but meaningless. I suspect there are many parties whose interests are threatened by Apple's phenomenal success and dominance who are actively trying to put out negative rumors and overblown stories. Come to think of it, 75% of the tech world is threatened by Apple now, so BS stories like this go with the territory.

     

    Back to the real world, I just spend some time at the Apple store in Santa Monica and on a quiet Friday morning (for the rest of the mall), Apple's store was jammed and buzzing with positive activity. It is just amazingly impressive and no other company in the world has anything close to this. SO if you are an Apple long who ever gets worried or starts believing the nay-sayers, just visit any Apple store and you will be very very cheered up quickly. Apple top $800+ within a year (hopefully). It deserves to be, that is for sure, and is really its own economy now, almost invulnerable from the state of the rest of the world's economy.
    13 Jul 2012, 06:57 PM Reply Like
  • Bmgue12
    , contributor
    Comments (102) | Send Message
     
    Great comments, the bad part is that not many buyers read them. I agree with bjnfrincks.

     

    It is too bad for government employees that will not get to have the MCs.

     

    If the stock goes down I will buy more and once the air is clear it will be our gain. I am long in AAPL
    14 Jul 2012, 10:06 AM Reply Like
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