Apple over the weekend announced that it was exiting EPEAT certification and will no longer have its products reviewed as part of the agencies recycling rating service. Apple was a founding member of EPEAT and the agency is currently responsible for rating products from hundreds of organizations.
Many companies, universities and government agencies around the world use the EPEAT index to determine a products recyclable components before making purchase decisions.
At this time most of Apple’s Macs meet EPEAT standards for recycling, however it is likely that a change is around the bend. Apple who has met “gold” EPEAT standards recently failed to obtain that level on the MacBook Pro with Retina display. That specific notebook failed to meet EPEAT recyclability and repair standards because the display is bonded to the outer casing and it features a glued-in and sealed battery, both of which make the notebook harder to recycle.
In order to receive an EPEAT index rating devices must have a 95 percent rate of certification, a level many experts believe Apple will not reach as more devices move towards “hard integration” of components. The move by Apple could ultimately hurt federal and business purchase orders which rely on strict recycling review programs. On the other hand Apple’s iPads and iPhones are classes of devices not on the EPEAT indices at this time and those devices make up much of the organization’s business and federal purchases.
According to one government official they are “fully aware of Apple’s decision to stop doing the EPEAT thing. The 95 percent [rule] exists, but is easily waived for mission-critical applications. Just about everything we need the Apple [machines] for is mission-critical. Besides, the [other current models are] EPEAT, and that’s good enough for government work.”
Apple has not commented publicly at this time regarding the EPEAT withdrawal.