What’s the meaning of EPEAT’s ‘Gold’ rating for Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display?

“iFixit called the the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display the ‘least repairable’ laptop ever made, and for good reason. Apple’s super-strong glue, soldering, and proprietary screws make it impossible to replace the battery, upgrade RAM, swap the circuit boards, etc.,” Alex Heath writes for Cult of Mac.

“That’s why Apple originally withdrew its products from EPEAT, the American standard for eco-friendly consumer electronics,” Heath writes. “After plenty of public outcry, Apple issued an apology and re-added its products to the EPEAT’s registry, despite the fact that laptops like the Retina MacBook Pro aren’t exactly ‘green.'”

Heath writes, “Last week EPEAT said that Apple’s products, including new laptops like the Retina MacBook Pro, meet its eligibility requirement for registry approval. Now EPEAT is giving the Retina MacBook Pro its highest ‘Gold’ approval rating. Today iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens is calling EPEAT out for compromising to accommodate Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.

Kyle Wiens writes for iFixIt, “We know that Apple’s products aren’t green: iPods routinely fail after a couple years. Just about everyone I know has a dead iPod in a drawer somewhere. Apple’s design trend is toward glued-together products with batteries that may fail after 12-24 months—they make repair so difficult that people rarely replace the batteries, opting instead to buy a replacement device.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: How does that make Apple’s products less “green?” Take batteries for example: user replaceable batteries – one of the dirtiest, most-polluting parts of portable electronic devices – are easily thrown away in the trash, however built-in batteries would require the user to throw away the entire device. Apple’s way is an impediment to throwing hazardous parts in the landfill or ocean. Faced with the prospect of a device they can’t dismantle needing repair, where does the user turn? Why to Apple’s Battery Replacement Program, of course. The new batteries are installed and the old batteries are recycled responsibly by Apple. There’s no opportunity for the batteries to get dumped into the landfill as with the old removable batteries.

What about when you’re done with your computer or smartphone? Send it in to the very comprehensive Apple Recycling Program, of course:

Turn that iPhone, iPad, or computer — Mac or PC — you’re not using anymore into something brand new. Send it to us and we’ll determine if it qualifies for reuse. If it does, that means your device has monetary value that we’ll apply to an Apple Gift Card, which you can use for purchases at any Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store. If your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or PC doesn’t qualify for reuse, we’ll recycle it responsibly at no cost to you.

If all you want is to dispose of your unwanted equipment — regardless of brand — we can help you do that. Apple contracts with Sims Recycling Solutions to responsibly recycle computers and displays from any manufacturer. 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. More info here.

Again, that’s ANY brand of PC or cellphone. Send it to Apple’s contractor Sims and they will recycle it responsibly. That’s as clean as clean gets.

When you think about it for more than a second, Apple’s way is more enviornmentally responsible than the old way.

iFixIt is a repair shop. Obviously, they’d be incensed at the prospect of losing business, but that doesn’t mean that Apple’s products “aren’t green.”

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. The folks at iFixit need to get a dust buster and vacuum the sand out of their Virginia’s.

    It happens with most products. I am old enough to remember the T.V/Radio repair shop down the road from where I grew up, they specialized in RCA. Guess what? Yep, almost nobody gets a T.V. or Radio fixed anymore so the place is no longer there.

    iFixits real complaint is that they can’t fix the new Apple stuff (and make a profit) at a price that consumers are willing to pay. Why pay $xxx.00 to fix a broken screen on a 2 year old iPod Touch, when you can get a brand new nicer one for less?

    1. “iFixits real complaint is that they can’t fix the new Apple stuff (and make a profit) at a price that consumers are willing to pay.”

      Yes, and this is neither EPEAT, nor Apple nor consumers’ problem. Consumers just carry their old devices to official Apple service to replace the battery or they simply return old devices back to Apple for recycling.

  2. The folks who run these sites, like iFixit or Tom’s, are geeks through and through. What they don’t like about Apple products is that they can’t be taken apart, hacked, and morphed into something else by people who like tinkering. I’ve had my MBP w/ Retina for several months now, and the build quality on this is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced before in a laptop. Because it’s so tightly integrated, it’s built like a tank, like something that will last for many, many years. Can you say that about an Acer or Lenovo laptop? Let’s compare how many-and how quickly–these cheap Asian computers get tossed on the landfill. Do they have full recycle programs? Of course the iFixit and Tom’s folks don’t ask these questions, because they’re not interested in them. What they want to know is, how quickly can I take this thing apart and add a turbo doohicky to it?

    1. I too have a MBP Retina and yes, it is a solid, reliable piece of equipment. I have no intention of touching it or modifying it so I made sure that when I ordered it, I specced out the best machine I could afford. When I am done with it, it will be worth probably little more than the scrap value of the materials and so it should be recycled.

  3. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with “Gold” certification because EPEAT has nothing to do with greedy manual unofficial repair firms like iFixit happy about easy repairs.

    EPEAT is about how green the product is actually. No one really replaces Apple’s batteries on their own or in some unofficial places like iFixit.

    So yes, MBP Retina is Golden standard in terms of how green a product can be.

    1. Amy ipods sitting at the bottom of my drawer is there because of obsolescence NOT because it’s not working. Everything Apple that I have bought for the past 7 years are still working very well.

  4. You dimwits – bloody typical response of a bunch of people completely caught up in the buy now, dump at next generation consumer cycle. Why should a product that is otherwise fully functional have to be dumped (even if it is “recycled”) just because it’s battery has come to the end of its life?

    And what if it can’t be recycled or have the battery replaced officially???

    Are you aware that Apple sells its products all over the globe? Are you aware that Apple does NOT offer the ability to recycle in many of these countries? That the cost of returning the product to Apple in the USA for recycling could exceed the original value of the unit? What happens then?

    Then there are people who cannot afford to replace a product just because a battery goes flat. Try understanding that Apple’s products are priced to suit the US market and the rest of the world, who in many cases earn much, much, less than the average American, often struggles to afford the device in the first place.

    The expectation is then that the device has a much longer life span than the yearly replacement considered normal by an American buyer.

    I still have an original iPod Touch that my daughter now uses. Five years old, the battery has been replaced once and it still does pretty much what it should. This happened because I could buy a third party battery, have it shipped and do the install myself.

    In many instances I have taken three or four defective Apple laptops and combined them to make one good unit. That is true recycling. If you can’t take the damned things apart anymore you can’t do this. So there is no way that you could possibly justify a “green” rating for a Retina Mac Book. It’s just wasteful – plain and simple.

    1. Mac-86 did you skip over the part that says Apple will give you a coupon/credit for your old device?

      When the battery in my 1st gen iPhone called it quits,I took it to my local Apple store and Apple gave me a new/refurb’ed iPhone for about the same cost as a new battery for other brands with replaceable batteries.

      Non-replaceable batteries are a tempest in a teapot.
      If your iDevice has a battery that has shot craps, take it to an Apple store and they will take care of it.

    2. (
      In many instances I have taken three or four defective Apple laptops and combined them to make one good unit.
      While it is very cool that you can Frankenstein Apple laptops together, this is not a skill that every has.

      I earn my living on my Mac laptop and the LAST thing I want todo is fu-ck around with the guts of the machine and try and Frankenstein old and older laptops so I can build a new machine and get back to work.

      As a hobby tinkering with hardware is loads of fun. Tinkering with hardware so you can get back to work = not fun

      1. I meant of the same type. And yes its not a skill everyone has but it was a service I could offer my customers when I ran the local Apple dealership.

        Being able to replace the cracked screen, defective optical drive etc on your laptop at a fraction of the cost of a new one from Apple has got to be something most people are interested in.

        And that is a service that true recyclers like MacFixIt offer their customers. The entire unit does not go to waste just because of one defective part.

  5. I’m about sick and tired of the pandering to the green weenie hypocrites, not to mention judgmental jackasses like ‘MacX86’.
    The overwhelming majority of them live in houses far bigger than they need, drive 25mpg cars and fly to their vacation spot where they stay in wasteful hotels, but they have no problem getting on forums like this to boast about their 5 year old iPod and to berate anyone that doesn’t “care”.
    Funny, I never see any of them biking to my local store (as I do) or refusing to buy products made in the most polluting nation on earth.
    GFY weenies.

    1. The most polluting nation on earth would be China.
      Unless you go per capita then it would be the good old US of A.
      Unless you don’t think Carbon Dioxide is a pollutant then it would be India.

    2. Damn right I’m judgemental. I live in a region where there are countries likely to disappear under the waves because of global warming and so am somewhat disappointed with the path that Apple is going down in terms of how disposable their products are becoming. And that after 32 years of using, selling and servicing their gear…

  6. MDN : recycling responsibly does not exist in this world if we look at the entire unit recycled.

    If you doubt it, look at the increasing amount of landfills !
    EPEAT should not sell out the standard for APPLE or for any other company.

    3rd world countries are already the the dumping ground for such wastage.

    Even if we are Apple -ciandos , we should hold Apple to a higher standard and not just toe the line.


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