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Apple to Repeat on the EPEAT

Reversing a recent decision, Apple will conform to Electronic Products Environmental Asset Tool standards, or EPEAT, after all. Larry Greenemeier reports

About a week after saying its computers, tablets and smart phones would no longer be designed to meet certain environmentally friendly specifications, Apple has reversed its position. Now they say they will conform to Electronic Products Environmental Asset Tool standards, or EPEAT, after all.

Backed by the Environmental Protection Agency, EPEAT certification means a product passes environmental muster in terms of power consumption, the materials it's made from, recyclability, its packaging and its disposal.

Apple sells 40 different EPEAT-certified products. But it was opting out, ostensibly because the company’s new high-resolution Retina display had not received EPEAT certification.

Then two things happened. First, several government agencies and various schools that usually buy Apple products pointed out that they're allowed to purchase only equipment with the EPEAT seal of approval. Shortly after, Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display was added to the EPEAT registry.

Apple's flip-flopping is a reminder that there’s a double meaning for so-called "green" technology. To exist, it has to be good for both the environment and to a manufacturer's bottom line.

—Larry Greenemeier

[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]

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