Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ecology: Apple gives up a standard

While Apple has yet again highlighted the next "green" MacBook Pro Retina during the presentation, she recently decided to abandon the standard EPEAT standard on which the Cupertino company was very supportive in recent year to tout the "energy efficient design" of its computers.

There are still a few weeks on its website Apple was pleased that all of its computers had "received the word Gold, the highest award of the EPEAT". She then presented the EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) as "the most comprehensive environmental standard and widely adopted in the world".

Dixit Apple, it "assesses the impact of a product on the environment based on a range of criteria such as degree of recycling, the amount of energy it uses and how it is designed and manufactured ". And it was not a little proud: "Few products achieve EPEAT Gold, and no other company has obtained a line of products."

Apple has begun to remove the various references EPEAT of its sites. It can nevertheless be found in the pages with some computers that have not been updated as the Mac Pro or Mac mini. The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has asked the EPEAT end of June to remove from its list its 39 products that had the famous label. On the other hand, it expressed its intention not to submit its products in the future to get that reference.

Responsible for this program, it is a cold shower. Robert Frisbee, CEO of EPEAT, is particularly disappointed that Apple has taken a leading role in popularizing this standard.

But this announcement is not surprising in itself according to him. Frisbee said that their latest designs do not meet the specifications of EPEAT. Again, the MacBook Pro Retina is the most striking proof.

The new Apple machine is very difficult to remove. For Frisbee, this computer would never have hoped to obtain this certification. "If the battery is glued to the box, that means you can not recycle the box and you can not recycle the battery," he says.

Shortly after its release, iFixit had moved trouble removing the MacBook Pro Retina and criticized some choices of the apple (use glue, soldered RAM ...). Result, the laptop Apple had obtained the lowest rating (1/10) in terms of ease of repair. Somehow, even Apple acknowledges that its new MacBook Pro is not quite a computer like the others because technicians must pass a certification specific to this model.

Apple's decision may seem trivial, but it could have consequences. Indeed, more and more companies and administration require the purchase of computer equipment certified EPEAT. This is the case of Ford, HSBC, or Permanent U.S. government requires that 95% of electronic purchases have this famous label. This is also the case in many universities in the United States.

Should we worry about Apple? The analyst Shaw Wu meets with malice as the iPhone and the iPad have always sold very well on these markets as they have never benefited from this label. The analyst would not be surprised that eventually Apple helped create a new standard in terms of ecology, better suited to its products.

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