Thank You for Listening: Apple REPEATs with EPEAT*

Posted on July 14, 2012

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The customers have asked for “A Greener Apple” and Apple has listened. Bob Mansfield, Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering posted a customer 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. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT….” (Click here for a complete copy of the letter.)

Apple customers, stockholders, suppliers and partners applaud Apple. Yes, I am one of the many Apple advocates, yet I also believe in corporate social responsibility and sustainability. A few days ago, I asked the question on Technorati “Where is Steve Jobs’ Greener Apple?” Some of the feedback on this site and others seemed to indicate that the commentaries byGreenpeace and others were premature and that the Apple way is the best way. While I didn’t necessarily agree with all that Greenpeace quoted, I did have a call to action.

In a personal response to one of the Technorati readers, I replied on July 11th and painted a different scenario noting: “What is unusual is that a company the size of Apple (largest market capitalization in the world) would normally synchronize PR with a significant action. It took Apple 4 days to explain its action after the media discovered Apple’s removal of all their products from the EPEAT registry. A better approach would have been:

1) Apple proactively announces that it is working with EPEAT and other environmental organizations to develop a comprehensive consumer electronics environmental rating system;

2) Apple maintains its current list of EPEAT certified products yet will no longer submit new products until a comprehensive approach is approved; and

3) Apple strives to maintain its environmental leadership by innovating newer ways to maximize recycling of all Apple products and seek to design with recycling and sustainability in the forefront of required consumer criteria.”

Apple has now completed two out of three of these steps even though (1) and (2) were acknowledged today.

Greenpeace also released their response today via Casey Harrell, IT Analyst for Greenpeace International: “We applaud Apple for ‘thinking green, not greedy’ and listening to its customers’ calls not to pit design needs against the environment. A large and growing number Apple customers have challenged the company to be an environmental leader, whether that be by rejoining EPEAT, eliminating toxic chemicals from its products, or powering its iCloud with renewable energy.”

“We await more details that ensure that future versions of Apple’s computers will be built with easily removable, recyclable and upgradable parts, unlike the current MacBook Pro. These design changes would make for a greener Apple product.”

Apple is back on track and that’s a good sign. After all, it’s only because Steve Jobs’ created an Apple culture that was “Built to Last.”

Do you agree with Apple’s decision to repeat with EPEAT?

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© 2012 by Ed Valdez. All rights reserved.

Trademarks and Logos are properties of their respective companies.

*Article first published on Technorati as “Thank You for Listening: Apple Repeats with EPEAT”

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Posted in: Eco Leader