US computer giant Apple has rejoined the green computer certification scheme it withdrew from last week after the move sparked widespread negative customer feedback.
In a letter posted on the company’s website from Bob Mansfield, senior vice president of hardware engineering, branded the decision to remove its products from the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) “a mistake”.
After receiving expressions of disappointment from “many loyal Apple customers”, including San Francisco city authorities, Apple has undertaken a U-turn and put all eligible products back on EPEAT.
The scheme certifies some 1000-plus products like desktops, laptops and monitors against environmental criteria agreed by the industry and supported by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Apple says its commitment to protecting the environment has not changed and that it makes some of the most environmentally responsible products in the industry.
“We are the only company to comprehensively report greenhouse gas emissions for every product we make, taking into account the entire product lifecycle,” writes Mansfield.
He adds that Apple’s entire product line exceeds the EPA’s ENERGY STAR 5.2 standard for energy efficiency.
The statement goes onto say that Apple’s relationship with EPEAT is now stronger and looks forward to working on the rating system and the IEEE’s 1680.1 standard to update the requirements.
EPEAT’s CEO Robert Frisbee says he will welcome Apple’s input into the ongoing development of environmental standards for computers.
Meanwhile, Apple received a boost to its somewhat dented environmental reputation after Greenpeace upgraded the company’s grade in its rating of the industry.
The environmental group, which has previously been very critical of Apple, said the company had made significant improvement in its clean energy policies like the siting of infrastructure, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas mitigation and use of renewables.
Apple recently announced, for example, that its new Maiden data centre in North Carolina will run on coal-free electricity by the end of the year, followed by its other two data centres.
However, Greenpeace still criticised Apple for a lack of clarity on its ‘coal-free’ commitments and the energy requirements of its iCloud offering.
For further information:
Apple drops out of green computer certification scheme (12-Jul)
Apple’s new data centre to run on 100% renewable energy (21-May)
Intel tops list of US renewables-powered organizations (24-Apr)
Google tops Greenpeace ‘Cool IT’ list (9-Feb)
16 July 2012