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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has reversed its decision to opt out of the EPEAT environmental ratings system after admitting that its earlier decision, which came last week, was a mistake. It has put all of its eligible products back on the registry that rates the green credentials of electronic devices.
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“It’s important to know that our commitment to protecting the environment has never changed, and today it is as strong as ever,” the company said in an open letter posted on its website.
The turnaround seemed to have been sparked at least in part by the public criticism Apple’s decision to take its products off the list received. In addition, several government agencies and schools that use the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool certification system were considering dropping Apple as a product partner. The city of San Francisco, which has a policy that its computers, laptops, and monitors must be EPEAT “gold” rated, had been most vocal about its decision to drop the use of Apple’s products. According to EPEAT’s website, its users include federal and state government agencies, colleges, and several companies, including Ford Motor (NYSE:F) and KPMG.
“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,” senior vice president of hardware engineering, Bob Mansfield, said in the letter.
Mansfield also mentioned Apple’s efforts in removing toxins such as brominated flame retardants and polyvinyl chloride from its products and pointed out that the company’s entire product line met or exceeded the current EnergyStar 5.2 standards set by the federal government.
Robert Frisbee, the chief executive of EPEAT, also posted a written response on the agency’s website confirming that “all of Apple’s previously registered products, and a number of new products, are back on the EPEAT registry.”
Apple’s new MacBook Pro with Retina display has also been included on EPEAT’s latest certified product list. Frisbee said one of EPEAT’s challenges was to apply standards “that are fixed at a point in time” with products that are constantly evolving. There had been an earlier report that Apple is part of a group currently working on rewriting EPEAT standards.
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