You may remember from last week when Apple decided to pull products from the eco-label EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool). Needless to say, the company did not get a very positive response from the world at large, including San Francisco City officials who said they would no longer be buying Apple products. As a result of the massive media and consumer pressure the company has endured, Apple has decided to reverse the decision and stick with EPEAT.
It’s no secret that Apple products are popular among young and eco–savvy entrepreneurs, which helps give the impression to many of us that the laptops, phones, and tablets are at the top of the eco game. However, Apple products have frequently been ranked somewhere in the middle of the road as far as green gadgets go. This is why the EPEAT label could be crucial in maintaining transparency and customer loyalty for the massive company.
An EPEAT certification on an electronic device means the product has achieved energy efficiency, product recyclability, low toxicity, and various other standards. In 2009, the Federal Government committed to purchasing 95 percent of its computing equipment as EPEAT certified.
The problem with Apple’s initial decision in pulling out of EPEAT certification was not that the company failed to meet energy efficiency standards, but the recyclability and repair standards. The company is always looking to release new items that are sleek, trendy, and compact, and unfortunately that means specialized tools are needed for repairs and recycling of new parts becomes more difficult.
Thankfully, it didn’t take long for Apple to see the error in this move. Senior Vice President Bob Mansfield posted a letter to the company website informing customers of the change of heart. It read “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.”
I’m sure Steve Jobs would be glad to hear that.
Does eco–certification such as this influence your electronics purchases?