Apple’s newest laptops just got a stamp of approval from the world’s leading green electronics certifier. The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) released its review of new laptops this week and found that the new MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro with Retina Display both met the group’s green standards. The announcement comes just a few months after Apple briefly withdrew all of its products from EPEAT’s green products registry. But not everyone is happy with the news; Greenpeace is accusing EPEAT of loosening its standards in order to give Apple a pass.
When Apple withdrew from EPEAT’s green electronics registry in July, observers speculated that it was because the company’s newest products—specifically the MacBook Pro with Retina Display—wouldn’t have made the cut. Apple’s newest laptops are reportedly very difficult to deconstruct because the battery is glued to its case, which makes recycling its parts difficult. But after several large schools and government agencies, including the City of San Francisco, announced that they would stop buying Apple products, Apple rejoined the EPEAT registry.
But why did the MacBook Retina make the cut now if they wouldn’t have been approved just three months ago? Robert Frisbee, EPEAT’s chief executive, says that each of Apple’s products could be disassembled in just 20 minutes. “For the removal of batteries the time required was between 30 seconds and two minutes,” said Frisbee.
Greenpeace isn’t buying it though. The environmental group charges that EPEAT changed its own standards, noting that buyers probably wouldn’t be inclined to take apart the computers knowing that it would void their warranty. ”Apple wanted to change the EPEAT standards when it knew its MacBook Pro with Retina Display would likely not qualify for the registry in July of this year–now EPEAT has reinterpreted its rules to include the MacBook Pro and ultrabooks,” said Greenpeace IT analyst Casey Harrell in a statement.