Apple Inc (AAPL); EPEAT Under Fire for MacBook Pro’s Gold Standard Rating

  on Oct 20,2012 Posted in Business News ,Technology
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You read that right, EPEAT, the environment friendly consumer product standardization body, has awarded a Gold Standard to Apple Inc (AAPL)’s newest MacBook Pro. So what’s wrong with this picture? Every user who’s ever owned an Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) product knows one thing, they are not exactly ‘green’.

Apple Inc (AAPL)’s MacBooks, iPhones, iPads, iPods all have soldering, welding, proprietary screws, super-glue where you can’t solder and the likes. It’s impossible to upgrade a RAM or swap circuit boards; you can’t even replace the battery. For this very reason, Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) withdrew its products from the EPEAT registration process. A great deal of public outcry followed this move and forced Apple Inc (AAPL) to both apologize and re-enter its products in the registration process. However, it’s still a fact that the current Retina MacBook Pro is not green. So it came as a big and wholly unpleasant surprise when EPEAT announced its Gold approval rating for Apple last week.

iFixit, who was the first to report the matter and call EPEAT out on this obvious and unprecedented relaxation of evaluation criteria. Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, has declared this blatant ‘greenwashing’ of the Retina display MacBook Pro;

Apple Inc (AAPL)’s MacBook Pro with Retina display is not repairable, it’s not upgradeable, and it’s not easy to disassemble for recycling. But it is EPEAT Gold. The Product Verification Committee’s decision essentially greenwashes the Retina.
Our engineers spent over an hour attempting to separate the battery from the computer, carefully prying to avoid puncturing the battery. If this same computer can earn a gold status, we should be asking ourselves, “What exactly can’t earn a green rating?” With these new definitions, pretty much every computer can be included in the registry.

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL)has never boasted of being green. Its uniqueness is in being the best. No iOS device was ever marketed on the grounds that it was going to be eco-friendly and Apple keeps close control over third party hardware that goes along with its product, effectively discouraging third party product manufacturing in a lot of cases. But Apple’s being green is not the worrying factor this time.

The problem is that, with the current Gold standard award given to an obviously non-gold and non-green product, EPEAT has flushed its credibility down the drain. Environment conscious consumers will not be taking EPEAT’s rating at face value, and for them, it means the hunt for eco-friendly, green products has just become more difficult. This also casts great doubt over past standards awarded to other products. At this point, EPEAT needs to come out and disclose its product rating criteria and explain how the Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s Retina display MacBook Pro qualified.




4 Responses to “Apple Inc (AAPL); EPEAT Under Fire for MacBook Pro’s Gold Standard Rating”

  1. Apple says:

    1) You should specify you are talking about the MacBook Pro with Retina Display (as is specified in the iFixit quote)
    2)Apple technicians can disassemble/repair/upgrade it
    3) The SSD is upgradeable
    4) Apple absolutely talks about being green. Many keynotes for introducing these products include some discussion about it. The tech specs page for their products includes a “(product name) and the Environment” section at the bottom with a link to their page about Apple’s environmental footprint: 

  2. Russell says:

    Read the original article for epeats specifications. Numerous apple products do not meet them.

    “Product shall be upgradeable with commonly available tools.”“External enclosures shall be easily removable by one person alone with commonly available tools. Hard disk, digital versatile disc (DVD), floppy drive can be changed or extended. Memory and cards can be changed or extended.”“Circuit boards >10 square cm (measured on the largest face), batteries, and other components—any of which contain hazardous materials—shall be safely and easily identifiable and removable.”

  3. uCan'tFixit says:

    SOUR GRAPES from a company that makes it’s money off showing people how to crack into their Apple products to supposedly fix them. The reality with modern Consumer Electronics, just like with modern Automobiles is they aren’t simple like they used to be.

    Apple is every bit as green, as any other computer company because they’ve had a FREE recycling program for batteries and now products themselves for a long time.

    Just because YOU as a untrained, unqualified consumer can’t do it, doesn’t make it impossible!

  4. Michael says:

    Well, at least we know who is getting paid under the table by Apple.  Always good to know who’s on the take.

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