updated 03:04 pm EDT, Thu July 12, 2012
Effects of EPEAT withdrawal begin to ripple
The federal government has joined the list of US political bodies reconsidering Macs in the wake of Apple withdrawing products from EPEAT certification, according to a government source reached by Politico. A product's EPEAT rating is considered by many organizations looking to buy computers in bulk. The source notes that the federal government is currently in the process of making procurement decisions for fiscal 2013; officials are reportedly worried that with Apple backing out, other companies may follow suit, wrecking government attempts to buy environmentally friendly hardware.
The city of San Francisco was the first American political entity to back away from Apple. San Francisco CIO John Walton explains, however, that some Apple purchases are still in the pipeline, and it's undecided what will be done with those; a meeting with other municipal CIOs is expected on Thursday. The iPad has never been classified under EPEAT, which should leave it as an option.
Besides government agencies, universities and corporations rely on EPEAT as well. Lyle Nevels, the CIO for the University of California at Berkeley, says his school is still undecided. "We are concerned about environmental protection and sustainability, and that’s why we want to understand Apple’s decision to go in another direction," he comments. "Despite the popularity of Apple’s iPad tablet computer, in university settings, laptops and desktop machines are still kings."
Apple has tried to defend its position by pointing to other ways in which its products meet environmental demands. EPEAT, though, is particularly concerned with easy recycling, and the new Retina MacBook Pro is believed to violate standards since the battery is glued to the case.