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Apple reverts to EPEAT standards

Global – The well-known technology brand Apple Inc. has once again included its portfolio of 39 products in the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) system – which pertains specifically to end-of-life disassembly.

Just last week, the company opted to leave the system when it found out one of its newest range of lap-tops would be unlikely to meet the quality requirements due to extreme difficulties encountered by testing crews in their attempts to remove the screen and battery from its plastic casing. However, the company has since had a change of heart, with Apple’€™s Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering Bob Mansfield writing in an open letter to APEAT: ‘€˜I recognise that this was a mistake.’€™

Describing the APEAT standards as ‘€˜an important measuring stick for our industry and its products’€™, he says Apple’€™s recent departure did not signify a less green agenda, as many industrialists and environmentalists feared. He adds: ‘€˜Our commitment to protect the environment has never changed; today, it is as strong as ever.’€™

As an example, he states that the company has removed plastics wherever possible in favour of materials that are more highly recyclable and more durable. ‘€˜Perhaps most importantly, we make the most energy-efficient computers in the world and our entire product line exceeds the stringent ENERGY STAR 5.2 government standard,’€™ states Mr Mansfield. ‘€˜No-one else in our industry can make that claim.’€™

The question of responsible design remains significant for Apple, according to iFixit’€™s CEO Kyle Wiens. Devices claimed to be ‘€˜the world’€™s greenest family of notebooks’€™ are among the most complex – with the latest MacBook Pro with Retina Display and iPad highlighted as the ‘€˜least repairable to date’€™.

There is no way of recycling its aluminium as long as there is glass glued to it – and the same goes for the glass, according to Mr Wiens. ‘€˜The design pattern has serious consequences not only for consumers and the environment, but also for the tech industry as a whole,’€™ he states.

The Retina MacBook is currently under scrutiny and is now in the second stage of a three-part EPEAT verification procedure, explains Mr Wiens. ‘€˜Until EPEAT finishes the review, all is speculation,’€™ he says. ‘€˜But for now, we join millions of environmentally-conscious Apple fans in cheering Apple’€™s return to EPEAT.’€™

EPEAT standards were devised by a consortium of manufacturers, including IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Lenovo.

For more information, visit: www.apple.com and www.ifixit.org

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