Greenpeace blasts EPEAT over Apple, Lenovo and Samsung Ultrabook ruling


Environmental campaign group Greenpeace has blasted EPEAT's decision to add Ultrabooks to its approved list of green technologies.

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

At the end of last week, EPEAT confirmed that "ultra-thin" notebooks from Apple, Lenovo, Samsung and Toshiba had met its admission criteria.

If companies can't make easy to repair products, they shouldn't be sold.

"Specific areas of concern addressed included whether products could be upgraded, if tools were commonly available to accomplish upgrades and whether materials of concern, including batteries could be easily removed," said EPEAT in a statement.

"All products investigated met the requirements of the criteria reviewed."

Debate about whether or not Ultrabooks should be included on EPEAT's registry has raged since July, when Apple reneged on its decision to remove its products from the directory.

The move was blasted by green campaigners who said Apple's MacBook Pro product should not be included because the batteries are difficult to remove and repair.

This time around EPEAT's actions have been criticised by Casey Harrell, IT analyst at Greenpeace, who claims the move will result in the creation of more e-waste.

"EPEAT has confused consumers and businesses who want to buy green electronics that can be repaired and will last a long time, and sets a dangerous trend for the burgeoning market of Ultrabooks," said Harrell in a statement to IT Pro.

"Consumers will not risk violating their product warranty to change a battery...and are sure to conclude that the entire process is too complicated and [will] instead buy a new product."

Harrell also used the statement to hit out at vendors that make their products difficult to upgrade and repair, because of the impact it has on their lifespan.

"If companies can't make products that can be easily fixed, they shouldn't be sold," Harrell added.

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.