Apple: Effective immediately, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT

Apple has posted the following letter on the company’s website from Bob Mansfield, Senior Vice president of hardware Engineering. Here it is, verbatim:

We’ve recently heard from many loyal Apple customers who were disappointed to learn that we had removed our products from the EPEAT rating system. I recognize that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT.

It’s important to know that our commitment to protecting the environment has never changed, and today it is as strong as ever. Apple makes the most environmentally responsible products in our industry. In fact, our engineering teams have worked incredibly hard over the years to make our products even more environmentally friendly, and much of our progress has come in areas not yet measured by EPEAT.

For example, Apple led the industry in removing harmful toxins such as brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). We are the only company to comprehensively report greenhouse gas emissions for every product we make, taking into account the entire product lifecycle. And we’ve removed plastics wherever possible, in favor of materials that are more highly recyclable, more durable, more efficient and longer lasting.

Perhaps most importantly, we make the most energy-efficient computers in the world and our entire product line exceeds the stringent ENERGY STAR 5.2 government standard. No one else in our industry can make that claim.

We think the IEEE 1680.1 standard could be a much stronger force for protecting the environment if it were upgraded to include advancements like these. This standard, on which the EPEAT rating system is based, is an important measuring stick for our industry and its products.

Our relationship with EPEAT has become stronger as a result of this experience, and we look forward to working with EPEAT as their rating system and the underlying IEEE 1680.1 standard evolve. Our team at Apple is dedicated to designing products that everyone can be proud to own and use.


MacDailyNews Take: We can almost hear Tim Cook, “Hey, Bob, before you get your gold watch, you’re going to need to fix this.”

Source: Apple Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: Once it’s codified, it’s a bitch to fix. EPEAT should take this as a wakeup call: They need to become much more nimble! Adhering to an outdated rulebook when better options arise is madness. Time to revise the rulebook, EPEAT Council!

Apple dropped EPEAT because some of their products are better for the environment than EPEAT-qualified products, yet they do not qualify for EPEAT!

In short, EPEAT is broken. Apple doesn’t do broken. Apple dropped EPEAT. Typical Apple. Now, instead of just pulling out of EPEAT and letting the shit hit San Fran, a simple open letter from Tim Cook posted on upfront would have prodded EPEAT to get with the times just as well, if not better, and spared the company from yet another PR debacle. Luckily, unlike with “Antennagate” (a PR debacle of epic proportions for which we took Apple to task for their excruciatingly slow response), they nipped this one in the bud.

The smart and nimble have already figured out why Apple – however clumsily and bluntly – tried to move forward and why the company’s approach is better for the environment. The rest are left behind, struggling to figure out why, for example, non-removable batteries coupled with free Apple recycling programs that safely dispose of them in an environmentally responsible manner are better than the old removable batteries, still loved by the EPEAT anachronism, the vast majority of which end up being dumped straight into landfills, the world’s oceans, and God only knows where else.

By the way, bring your old Mac batteries to an Apple Retail Store near you and they’ll recycle them for free.

So, it’s not at all difficult to grasp: You buy the Apple product, you use it up, you send it back to Apple for free, and Apple makes sure it doesn’t end up fouling the planet. A simple, clean, closed loop. No other tech company comes close to Apple on protecting the environment. Period.

MacDailyNews Note: To recycle your Mac, iPad, iPhone and other products — if your product has monetary value, Apple will apply that value toward an Apple Gift Card — use the Apple Recycling Program.

If all you want is to dispose of your unwanted equipment — regardless of brand — Apple Inc. will help you do that. Apple contracts with Sims Recycling Solutions to responsibly recycle computers and displays from any manufacturer. Sims Recycling Solutions feature domestic processing facilities where a zero-landfill policy and proven sustainability give you peace of mind in knowing that your electronics will be managed responsibly. Just call 800-966-4135 to receive a free prepaid shipping label. Then pack up your equipment using your own box and send it off. For more information about Sims Recycling Solutions, visit

More information about Apple’s extensive commitment to the environment here.

Related articles:
U.S. Federal government rethinking buying Apple computers over EPEAT withdrawal – July 12, 2012
Apple explains exit from government-backed EPEAT list – July 11, 2012
San Francisco to block Mac purchases citing lack of environmental EPEAT certification – July 10, 2012
Apple pulls products from U.S. gov’t-backed ‘EPEAT’ green electronics list – July 7, 2012
Why Apple’s sealed, non-user-serviceable MacBook Pro with Retina display is a very good thing – June 22, 2012
Teardown of MacBook Pro’s Retina display shows off ‘engineering marvel’ – June 19, 2012
Teardown of MacBook Pro with Retina Display reveals soldered RAM, glued-in battery – June 13, 2012

Bob Mansfield, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering, to retire; Dan Riccio to take over – June 28, 2012

AnandTech reviews Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display: Editor’s Choice; first Mac to ever receive one – June 23, 2012
AP reviews Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display: An epiphany, makes all other screens look dull and fuzzy – June 16, 2012
Reg Hardware reviews Apple’s MacBook Pro with Retina display: Drool-worthy – June 15, 2012
USA Today reviews Apple’s MacBook Pro with Retina display: Powerfully robust, an object of desire – June 14, 2012
ABC News reviews Apple’s MacBook Pro with Retina display: If you have the money, this is the one to buy – June 14, 2012
Engadget reviews Apple’s MacBook Pro with Retina display: Redefines the professional notebook – June 13, 2012
PC Magazine reviews Apple’s MacBook Pro with Retina display: Editor’s choice – June 13, 2012
Apple debuts new TV ad for MacBook Pro with Retina display: ‘Every Dimension’ (with video) – June 13, 2012
AnandTech analyzes Apple’s new MacBook Pro Retina display: ‘Everything is ridiculously crisp’ – June 12, 2012
Hands-on with Apple’s new MacBook Pro with Retina display (with video) – June 12, 2012
Apple unveils all new MacBook Pro with stunning Retina display – June 11, 2012


    1. Exactly. There was no good reason for Apple to pull out of EPEAT to begin with. Maybe EPEAT isn’t up to date and doesn’t doe as much as it should, but once it’s adopted as a standard measurement certification, you can’t just drop it without some valid purpose.

      1. And the valid purpose was that Apple’s products, while going much further than the EPEAT standards, by their advanced designs violate the outmoded requirements of the EPEAT standard, like having removable batteries so that untrained recycling personnel can remove them safely with minimal, basic hand tools. Watch for EPEAT standards to be radically updated soon, accompanied by squeals of pain from Dell-land.

        1. Agreed! When Bob M. says “our relationship with EPEAT is stronger because of this” you know what’s coming! Apple, I’m sure, negotiated with EPEAT from a position of strength 😉

          1. That is because the story about batteries being glued to the case of the notebook was a made up by EPEAT’s head as lame excuse to explain why Apple dropped them.

            There is nothing what prohibits separating batteries from the case even if those are glued. You just apply some force and batteries perfectly separate from the case without loosing integrity.

            The real reason why Apple dropped EPEAT was that this standard is old is totally unnecessary when there are other, stricter standards. This was purely Jobsian move — to leave behind all that is old and useless. Keeping EPEAT standard for the products would be like paying to certify your race car’s speed at 100 kilometres per hour while you already have 250 kilometres per hour certificate.

            However, bureaucrats love equipment to have as many certifications as possible even if they already make no sense. So Apple made a “U” turn — not to lose some sales to authorities.

      2. Actually, I disagree, and I think the mistake was going back so quickly. Pulling out was fine – they exceed the certification, it is outdated, and they have to PAY EPEAT. They were likely pulling out to motivate EPEAT to update their outdated certification. They could have simply said that all their products exceed it, and waited.

        We’ll see if Mr. Frisbee will get the message and actually begin to make EPEAT relevant.

      3. Naa you are both missing the point. The standards committee was allowing themselves to “do nothing” mostly because when you have a conflict “nothing> is the easy way out (and the norm amount government standards committees) Apple wanted far more things covered (like use of plastics and BFR’s) To make it a “better” measure of real environmental impact. The other companies (PeeCee companies) wanted it to remain stagnant (because their products use lots of plastics and PBR’s?)
        Apple pulled out citing refusal of the committee to update the standard. Now the committee is moving on revising the standard to include “total impact” of products on the environment not just how easy they are to take apart with basic tools.
        Sometimes committees just need a boot in the ass. Apple provided that. Now things are better for everyone (except PeeCee assemblers who will be forced to stop putting PBR’s and so much crap plastic in their products). Thank you Apple.

        1. Totally agree with Tessellator.

          Look, Apple forced EPEAT standards into the limelight because they were unwilling to update their standards. They were letting others get away with by doing the bare minimum so they could have the EPEAT rating. Anyone with a brain could figure this out, it’s about money.

          Even though they went back, they brought a huge amount of public attention into EPEATs outdated standards and EPEAT will be looked at very closely, especially when comparing them to the Energy Star 5.2 standards.

          EPEAT wants to play this game, fine, Apple can play this game just as well and bluffing isn’t something Apple does.

          Ball’s in your court EPEAT!

          1. I’d like to think you’re correct. But it is Apple that got the bad press and to the rest of the world it looks like Apple did the U turn and that it has a problem with some of it’s products not meeting the standard. Even if you’re right, it was poorly handled by Apple. At the time of quitting they should have said “We’re quitting this standards thing because our products are much better but we’re not getting the recognition we deserve.”

            1. Alright I’ll bite.

              Then how would you explain the “fact” that EPEAT has absolutely NO STANDARDS for things like iPads, iPods, iPhones many years after they have been on the market? What about standards for things like laptops that use flash type hard drives?

              Basically, because EPEAT won’t update their standards out of fear of losing every other company because they can’t even come close to matching Apple’s products.

              If you read between the lines you see that Apple is moving so far ahead of the competition that they have actually moved beyond the EPEAT standards. So, why continue to pay them (blackmail money) when you have less then 1/3 of your products running on older technology and there is no EPEAT standard for the rest of your products. (BTW, Apple makes more on iPhones, iPods, iPads and MB Airs then all the products they have the EPEAT stamp of approval)

              OK, so you see it as bad press for Apple. I see it as someone finally saying, “the king is not wearing any clothes”.

  1. IMHO, Apple has been negotiating with EPEAT about revising the standard and negotiations broke down. Apple pulled its products and EPEAT caved. End of story.

    1. Too bad for the faux pas, but Apple was willing to “man up” and reverse the decision in spite of a “loss of face”. Can you imagine HTC or Samsung admitting that they made a mistake by copying the iPhone or iPad. CEO would rather commit hari kari (if he was Japanese instead of Korean). In a biography of the current Chairman/CEO I read about a year ago, it discusses how Samsung became successful by copying

      1. Yes. Apple did man up. A bigger question is, why the need to?

        Had Apple thought their decision through before proceeding, they wouldn’t have put themselves in the position to have to “man up”. Instead, they apparently made a decision without weighing all the facts. A decision that should never have happened in the first place.

        1. But it seems the alternative would have been that the new retina MBP would not have met the standard. Presumably other products in the future also wouldn’t have met the standard. That would generate bad PR too. I’m sure Apple didn’t take this decision lightly and in the end they got what they wanted. I really don’t think much damage has been done.

        2. Yes, because I’m sure they didn’t discuss the consequences before making the decision to pull out…

          Don’t be so naive. Apple knew what they were doing. As someone mentioned above, they were negotiating from a position o strength, and had the balls to pull out when no one wanted to play ball.

          Now that they’re back in doesn’t say anything bad about Apple. It brings to light the outdated standard that Apple is being measured against into light.

          Apple doesn’t bluff. The world should know that by now!

    1. Thelonious Mac thinks this is another opportunity to say something snide about Tim Cook. Unfortunately, Tessellator (see his post above) is MUCH MUCH closer to the truth. This was a gambit by Apple – not perfectly played, but in the end successful.

      Honestly, I think this might have been better handled if Bob had posted an open letter to EPEAT (a’la the famous Steve J letters) putting them on notice, but I don’t pretend (unlike many on this forum) that I know more than the folks who have so successfully run Apple for years.

  2. Oh good, now the environmental morons will be all excited again. This stuff only matters to the clinically insane or braindead. People who live in the real world could give two craps about loser “green” bs.

    1. Please sir, kindly shut yer gob. If you knew anything about brominated flame retardants you would be embarrassed at what you said. Ask a fireman what a huge problem these things are. Flame retardants kill more firemen than they save. We live in a closed system, and some things cannot be disposed of safely and need to be removed from production, period. Cheers to Apple for understanding what you clearly do not.

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