Apple's green U-turn welcomed by EPEAT

Green IT

Consumer electronics giant Apple has backtracked on its decision to remove its products from EPEAT's global list of green technologies.

The directory is used by resellers, consumers and companies that want to source environmentally friendly electronic products.

Our engineering teams have worked incredibly hard to make our products even more environmentally friendly.

In an open letter on the Apple website, the firm's senior vice president of hardware engineering, Bob Mansfield, said removing its products from the EPEAT registry earlier this month had been "a mistake".

"It's important to know that our commitment to protecting the environment has never changed, and today it is as strong as ever.

"In fact, our engineering teams have worked incredibly hard over the years to make our products even more environmentally friendly, and much of our progress has come in areas not yet measured by EPEAT," added Mansfield.

To get listed in EPEAT's directory, manufacturers must meet the IEEE 1680.1 standard, which is a set of performance checks that ensure their products operate in an environmentally friendly way.

In Mansfield's letter, he said the standard is an "important measuring stick" for the electronics industry.

"Our relationship with EPEAT has become stronger as a result of this experience, and we look forward to working with EPEAT as their rating system and the underlying IEEE 1680.1 standard evolve," Mansfield concluded.

EPEAT chief executive, Robert Frisbee, marked Apple's return to the list with an open letter of his own, welcoming its products back to the fold.

"Our relationship with Apple is based on our natural alignment as Apple drives innovation in product design, EPEAT drives innovation in standards design," said Frisbee.

Apple's U-turn marks the second time in seven days the firm's environmental credentials have been scrutinised after Greenpeace announced its datacentres are still some way off becoming coal-free.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.