Apple products are no longer green, at least according to the world’s leading green electronics certifier. The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), a government-sponsored green electronics certification system, announced that Apple has withdrawn all 39 of its certified desktop computers, laptops and monitors from the list of green electronics, and the company will no longer be submitting its products for environmental rating. The irony is that Apple was one of the companies that helped create the standard in the first place.
Apple hasn’t released a statement on the policy change yet, but observers have suggested that it’s probably related to a recent design change in the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display. As iFixit revealed last month, the display assembly is fused together, making it impossible to disassemble, and the battery is glued into the case. “In order to meet the standards, recyclers need to be able to easily disassemble products, with common tools, to separate toxic components, like batteries,” writes Joel Schectman in the Wall Street Journal.
The move could cost Apple some business. As Schectman notes, the U.S. government requires that 95 percent of the electronics it purchases must be EPEAT certified, and the IT departments at many colleges and universities prefer EPEAT-certified computers
The departure from EPEAT doesn’t necessarily mean that Apple no longer cares about the environment, though. “They are not trying to purposely make it hard to open, they are just trying to pack as much as they can into a small space–it’s a design decision,” Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu told the WSJ. And as TreeHugger points out, Apple actually has its own recycling program, and Wu speculates that Apple might roll out its own certification system.