Not a Green Apple: Apple Ditches Environmental Certification
In a world increasingly focused on sustainability and earth-friendly products and services, people are beginning to respond negatively to companies that refuse to comply with established environmental standards. But could they ever respond negatively to Apple Computers? CEO Tim Cook is willing to bet “No.”
As the dust settled from Apple’s World-Wide Developers Conference, consumer and industry watchdog reviews of their new additions to their existing product lines streamed in from all corners of the internet. One particularly troubling report was that Apple’s new MacBook Pro was practically impossible to repair – any significant damage to an important component would render the entire laptop an expensive piece of junk. This ‘un-repairability’ violates the requirements of the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) registry – a valuable seal-of-approval that certain companies (and the US Government) require on products when purchasing new electronics. EPEAT certifies that products are efficient, easy to disassemble (oops), and recyclable. While Apple is pioneering their own in-house recycling service, their split from the EPEAT standard could have some unintended consequences…
While Apple has gone to painstaking measures in the past to establish itself as an earth-friendly juggernaut, their decision to break from the EPEAT standard is at odds with their progressive public image – and a bold risk in terms of potential sales. How many environmentally-conscious young people would continue to buy trendy Apple products if they knew that they weren’t environmentally-sound? Would you? Their decision to design EPEAT non-compliant products signals they are willing to bet that people will continue to keep buying – and that their design vision is paramount over being earth-friendly.
Would you buy an Apple product if you knew it weren’t environmentally friendly?