Last week, we reported that Apple had withdrawn from Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) environmental rating program. Now Apple has returned.
Apple has posted a letter from retiring senior Vice President of hardware engineering Bob Mansfield to its website, walking back its abandonment of the EPEAT certification for its eligible products. The letter reads:
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.
There is a corresponding statement from EPEAT president Robert Frisbee on the organization’s website. Last week Apple’s 39 EPEAT-eligible products were pulled from the industry registry at the company’s request.
Last Tuesday, Apple’s Public Relations (PR) team pointed out that the Apple’s environmental efforts were continuing and included many areas of progress not covered by the outdated EPEAT standards. It is likely that the “loyal Apple customers” who raised their concerns with Mansfield and Apple management included many large institutional and government accounts. They may have purchasing rules mandating EPEAT-eligible gear when possible.
Both Mansfield and Frisbee emphasized that this experience has strengthened the collaborative efforts of Apple and EPEAT. Apple’s input will be crucial in evolving the standard to deal with more modern devices.