Last month Apple made an interesting green business decision when it backed out of the EPEAT green electronics certification program. The company didn’t just decide to stop its participation in the program going forward, it also removed 39 products that had received EPEAT certification from the product registry.
EPEAT began in 2001-2002 when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded a grant to the Zero Waste Alliance (ZWA) to create a green technology assessment tool. In 2006, the EPEAT registry went live with 60 green certified technology products. Over the past several years, EPEAT has spread to countries around the world and is arguably the most recognized green technology certification on the market.
Now, Apple products won’t be found on the EPEAT registry. This includes the company’s brand new MacBook Pro with Retina Display, which Apple praised for its reduced environmental footprint.
This move leaves many Apple fans like myself asking what the company is trying to hide by exiting the program. I try not to be a conspiracy theorist, but withdrawing from such a well-known green certification program without any type of an explanation leaves consumers with more questions than answers.
Joel Schectman covered the topic in blog post on the Wall Street Journal website. Schectman reached out to Robert Frisbee, CEO of EPEAT, to discuss Apple’s decision. “They said their design direction was no longer consistent with the EPEAT requirements,” Frisbee told WSJ.com.
Schectman then contacted Apple officials, who had no official comment on the issue but simply referred the writer to Apple's environmental website.
Apple’s exit from the program is going to be filed in my “Things that make you go hmmm” category. Hopefully the company decides to make an official announcement about the decision because, in my opinion, this is a major decision and needs some sort of explanation.