When the news broke that Apple removed all 39 of its certified desktop computers, laptops and monitors from the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT)‘s list of green electronics, many predicted that the move would likely cost the computer giant some business. Now, just days after the announcement, San Francisco officials have revealed that the city plans to suspend its purchases of Apple computers. San Francisco is the first municipality to announce that it will seek to block purchases of Apple products by government agencies, but it probably won’t be the last.

Downtown San Francisco, San Francisco Skyline, SF skyline, San Francisco financial district

Earlier this week the San Francisco Department of Environment told the Wall Street Journal that it will inform the roughly 28,000 employees at 50 city agencies that they’ll no longer be able to buy Apple laptops and desktop computers with city funds. San Francisco officials made the ruling in direct response to Apple’s decision to remove its products from EPEAT registry, a green electronics certification that requires manufacturers to make computers and other products that are easy to disassemble and recycle.

The move could cause Apple to lose a lot more business, because many municipalities and large institutions depend on the EPEAT list when deciding what types of machines to purchase. According to the Washington Post, the University of California—one of California’s biggest employers, and one of the largest public university systems in the country—is currently weighing wether or not to stop purchasing Apple computers.

Apple’s move to remove its products from the EPEAT registry is still surrounded by mystery, especially when one considers that Apple was one of the companies that helped to create the standards. And as the WSJ notes, even though the company no longer certifies its products through EPEAT, Apple still has a better environmental record than many tech companies. Apple offers its own recycling programs and issue annual environmental impact reports, and speaking to the Post, Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet claimed that its products “are superior in other important environmental areas not measured by EPEAT, such as removal of toxic materials.”

Via CIO Journal and The Washington Post

Photos © Apple and Bernard Gagnon