Apple pulls out of EPEAT certification programJuly 16, 2012
Apple subject to criticism despite green initiatives
Apple has been showing leadership in bringing alternative energy to the technology sector in recent years. The company has embarked upon several ambitious alternative energy projects, such as equipping its headquarters with a giant solar panel array, as well as beginning work on converting its large datacenter in Maiden, North Carolina, to run on alternative energy. Despite the company’s apparent interest in alternative energy, it is often criticized for its business practices, which are, at times, accused of being environmentally-unfriendly. This criticism is expected to grow as Apple announces that it has pulled out of the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) program.
EPEAT program aims to provide consumers with pertinent information
The EPEAT program serves as an evaluation tool designed for consumers to examine the effect electronic devices have on the environment. The program ranks electronic products based on their environmental friendliness and awards these products either a Bronze, Silver, or Gold rating. The products tested through the program are often examined for whether they can be easily recycled or repaired, a serious issue throughout the technology industry in terms of sustainability.
Apple manufacturing methods could have led to low EPEAT rating
Apple’s products make use of industrial strength glue instead of screws. This makes the company’s products impossible to repair in most cases and they cannot simply be recycled for this same reason. Though Apple does offer its own recycling services free of charge, many consumers may not be aware that this service exists, as they tend to throw out their outdated or broken Apple products.
U.S. government no longer able to purchase Apple products
Apple’s exit from the EPEAT program could have serious consequences in the future. Because the technology company is refusing to allow its products to be evaluated by the program, the U.S. government will no longer be able to purchase Apple electronics due to a legislative requirement that 95% of the government’s electronics should have EPEAT certification. Apple may also lose support amongst so called “green consumers,” those who are keen to support sustainability and environmental friendliness.
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