San Francisco has announced that they plan to end purchases of Apple’s Mac range after Cupertino’s withdrawal from environmental certification scheme EPEAT.
The EPEAT system tracks the environmental footprint of computers. The initiative was started in 2006 by tech companies and US government agencies, and it was supposed to help buyers better understand the impact any potential product might have on the environment.
Most people speculate that Apple withdrew from the scheme after the release of the new Retina Macbook, as you can imagine, the green potentials of that particular product aren’t quite as impressive as the rest of the Mac range. In a statement Apple said:
“Apple takes a comprehensive approach to measuring our environmental impact, and all of our products meet the strictest energy-efficiency standards backed by the US government… We also lead the industry by reporting each product’s greenhouse gas emissions on our website, and Apple products are superior in other important environmental areas not measured by EPEAT, such as removal of toxic materials.”
Now the effects of this withdrawal aren’t too significant right now. San Francisco has around $200 million to spend on technology, and only $45000 of that budget is allocated to Apple products, a loss Cupertino can definitely absorb. The losses may start to pile up if other organizations decide that they are also going to look elsewhere for their tech solutions, EPEAT makes purchases easier because most organizations don’t have the time or the resources to review products on a case-by-case basis.
Apple’s move away from EPEAT could also suggest that the scheme is outdated, or that some of the criteria it uses to label products need to be realigned with the latest technological developments.