Earlier this week Apple announced plans to pull EPEAT Green Electronics Certification from all 39 of its certified desktop computers, laptops and monitors, however today the company did a 180 on its initial stance and issued a statement that it will be returning to the program. Their change of heart comes as no surprise — soon after their first announcement was made, numerous schools, organizations and government agencies, including the City of San Francisco, made it clear that they would cease buying Apple products.
Apple rejoined EPEAT today, restoring the certification to 39 of their desktop computers, laptops and monitors. The company has acknowledged that their decision to withdraw from the program was a big mistake. Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering, Bob Mansfield, said in a letter on Apple’s website “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.”
Public outcry played a critical role in getting Apple back on the registry. The San Francisco Department of the Environment told the Wall Street Journal just days after the announcement that they would ban the purchase of Apple laptops and desktop computers with city funds — this move would have involved 28,000 employees at 50 city agencies.
Many other governments and universities are likely to have followed suit. Computer-related purchasing decisions by these entities are required to use hardware that has been rated by EPEAT. The city of San Francisco, for example, has a policy that its computers, laptops and monitors must be EPEAT “gold” rated.
“The scientific community in the U.S. government are big users of Apple,” EPEAT Chief Executive Robert Frisbee said, further noting that they were “particularly influential” in convincing Apple to resume its participation. The reason Apple even removed its products from the EPEAT registry to begin with is still a mystery, particularly as they were one of the main companies involved in establishing the standards.