or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Apple acknowledges 'mistake,' places eligible products back on EPEAT
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple acknowledges 'mistake,' places eligible products back on EPEAT

post #1 of 156
Thread Starter 
Responding to public criticism, Apple on Friday announced that it made a "mistake," and has placed all eligible products back on the EPEAT green certified list.

The move was explained in a letter to customers published on the environmental section of Apple's website. Penned by Bob Mansfield, Apple's senior vice president of Hardware Engineering, the letter states that Apple's commitment to the environment "has never changed."

"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 wrote. "Our team at Apple is dedicated to designing products that everyone can be proud to own and use."

The controversy first began a week ago, when it was revealed that Apple had voluntarily pulled its products from a list maintained by the government-sponsored standard setting group EPEAT. The move meant that Apple's previous generation products, which were already EPEAT certified, were also taken off the list.

That prompted the city of San Francisco to announce this week that it would cease purchasing Apple products without EPEAT certification. Apple then publicly defended its decision to cease EPEAT certification by noting it takes a "comprehensive approach" to making environmentally responsible products.

EPEAT


Apple originally decided to remove a total of 39 desktops, laptops and monitors from the EPEAT list, because the organization's certification requires that a product must be easily disassembled with common tools to have toxic components, such as batteries, separated from recyclable materials. Over the years, Apple's products have become increasingly difficult to take apart, which is why the repair firm iFixit recently gave the new Retina display MacBook Pro a score of 1 out of 10 on its repairability scale.

The full letter from Mansfield to customers is included below:

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. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT.

It?s important to know that our commitment to protecting the environment has never changed, and today it is as strong as ever. Apple makes the most environmentally responsible products in our industry. 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.

For example, Apple led the industry in removing harmful toxins such as brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). We are the only company to comprehensively report greenhouse gas emissions for every product we make, taking into account the entire product lifecycle. And we?ve removed plastics wherever possible, in favor of materials that are more highly recyclable, more durable, more efficient and longer lasting.

Perhaps most importantly, we make the most energy-efficient computers in the world and our entire product line exceeds the stringent ENERGY STAR 5.2 government standard. No one else in our industry can make that claim.

We think the IEEE 1680.1 standard could be a much stronger force for protecting the environment if it were upgraded to include advancements like these. This standard, on which the EPEAT rating system is based, is an important measuring stick for our industry and its products.

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. Our team at Apple is dedicated to designing products that everyone can be proud to own and use.

Bob

post #2 of 156
That's.....weird.
I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
Reply
I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
Reply
post #3 of 156

It's the only logical move.

 

If the freaking computer happens to meet the EPEAT whatever, then why not just leave it there.

 

No Sweat !

Easy Peasy !

 

The whole planet pretends like the world is not worse off today than it was yesterday, and it will be worse off tomorrow, than it was today.

 

Fewer resources every passing day.

More pollution every passing day.

 

This ONLY goes in One direction.
 

post #4 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

That's.....weird.

You can say that again.

 

Is Mansfield taking the blame for this mistake? He is retiring after all.

 

Was Apple's "about face" a result of the Federal Govt. announcing that it may not purchase products that are "not EPEAT."

 

Somebody did not think this through.

post #5 of 156

Backpedal backpedal backpedal.....
 

post #6 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuffyzDead View Post

It's the only logical move.

If the freaking computer happens to meet the EPEAT whatever, then why not just leave it there.

There move was strategic. Because future Macs will not meet the current EPEAT standards for certification it would look worse to have only their old machines with the high rating. It's unfortunate that Apple is bowing to the asshats and chuckleheads from the usual snowflake that has become an avalanche.

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply
post #7 of 156

Good move. Very good move.

 

I don't really care how it looks. Sometimes backtracking is the best option.

 

Kudos to Apple. Sneaky that they made Mansfield take the hit, since he's outgoing, but in corporate logic it was the obvious move.
 

post #8 of 156
Glue vs screws
post #9 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

You can say that again.

 

Is Mansfield taking the blame for this mistake? He is retiring after all.

 

Was Apple's "about face" a result of the Federal Govt. announcing that it may not purchase products that are "not EPEAT."

 

Somebody did not think this through.

 

I haven't heard that the "Federal Govt." said anything of the sort.  

Only San Fransisco (with an Apple related budget of *maybe* $45,000), said they wouldn't buy AFAIH. 

 

I read this as the new guy making a bold step and Mansfield having to step back in and correct it.  

post #10 of 156

But the new MBP not being EPEAT certified due to glued battery is still a problem for them right?

 

Seems like they could use a different glue that wasn't so strong and the battery could be detached more easily.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #11 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

You can say that again.

 

Is Mansfield taking the blame for this mistake? He is retiring after all.

 

Was Apple's "about face" a result of the Federal Govt. announcing that it may not purchase products that are "not EPEAT."

 

Somebody did not think this through.

 

The reaction was stronger than they imagined, if they gave it much thought to begin with. Even Gruber wasn't willing to burn his credibility defending them. After quoting Apple's original response:

 

Apple would have been better served by issuing a statement like this before it turned into a controversy. And even here, Apple is not addressing the specific concern regarding the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display, which is recyclability.

 

I am not sure that Mansfield is taking the blame, exactly. But he is the face of the backtrack, which makes sense. In any case, Tim Cook was obviously involved and he has shown quick reflexes, at least, though perhaps poor judgment allowing the original withdrawal, assuming he was directly involved (he should have been). Still, what matters is that they learn from this and improve.

 

I am also going to take a wild guess that reaction inside Apple was probably significant as well.

post #12 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alonso Perez View Post

Sometimes backtracking is the best option.

Except for what it signals. I think that the new management has the tendency to blink a tad too much.

 

We'll see where this heads....

post #13 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

I haven't heard that the "Federal Govt." said anything of the sort.  

Only San Fransisco (with an Apple related budget of *maybe* $45,000), said they wouldn't buy AFAIH. 

 

I read this as the new guy making a bold step and Mansfield having to step back in and correct it.  

 

Other government bodies and institutions around the world had started making announcements that they would not buy the products or look into the issue within the next few days. There was a risk of a snowball.

 

As to the responsibility, I have no idea where this came from and who proposed the backtrack. It sure is an interesting question though.

post #14 of 156

Epic fail there Apple. It was pretty obvious they were going to have to rethink this, rather then lose all government sales. Someone seriously dropped the ball.

post #15 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

I haven't heard that the "Federal Govt." said anything of the sort.  

Only San Fransisco (with an Apple related budget of *maybe* $45,000), said they wouldn't buy AFAIH.

http://www.macnn.com/articles/12/07/12/effects.of.epeat.withdrawal.begin.to.ripple/

melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #16 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

I haven't heard that the "Federal Govt." said anything of the sort.  

Only San Fransisco (with an Apple related budget of *maybe* $45,000), said they wouldn't buy AFAIH. 

 

I read this as the new guy making a bold step and Mansfield having to step back in and correct it.  

 

I saw this item on the Fed Govt. rethinking buying Apple products.

 

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/78442.html

 

Mansfield has not left yet.  So, can't be just the new guy.  Besides others in senior mgmnt. must have approved this.  This is too big a decision.  That said, they must have weighed the pros and cons before deciding to cancel EPEAT.  Still, better to admit that it was a mistake and backtrack now instead of later.  The question is what are they going to do about future products?  Maybe they will work with EPEAT to change their certification standards.

 

I wonder what Al Gore has to say about this.

post #17 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Except for what it signals. I think that the new management has the tendency to blink a tad too much.

 

We'll see where this heads....

 

Huh? What does it signal? To me it signals intelligence.

 

Macho, double-down management is for third-world autocrats and Hitler fans. Flexibility is much smarter, especially when addressing the concerns of an important subgroup of Apple customers.

post #18 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

 

I saw this item on the Fed Govt. rethinking buying Apple products.

 

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/78442.html

 

Mansfield has not left yet.  So, can't be just the new guy.  Besides others in senior mgmnt. must have approved this.  This is too big a decision.  That said, they must have weighed the pros and cons before deciding to cancel EPEAT.  Still, better to admit that it was a mistake and backtrack now instead of later.  The question is what are they going to do about future products?  Maybe they will work with EPEAT to change their certification standards.

 

I wonder what Al Gore has to say about this?

 

I think Mansfield's note is highly suggestive that the tack they will take is to work with EPEAT. EPEAT is also interested in doing that, as was signaled by the new EPEAT CEO when he stated that the standard was "long in the tooth". This should have been their approach all along, but they got it, and they got it fast. That's good.

post #19 of 156

According to the official material available from Apple, http://images.apple.com/environment/reports/docs/macbookpro_retinadisplay_per_june2012.pdf

the Retina display Macbook Pro "Achieves a Gold rating from EPEAT"

 

So, it appears that the initial withdrawal from EPEAT wasn't due to the rMBP. That's what it looks like at least.

post #20 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

You can say that again.

Is Mansfield taking the blame for this mistake? He is retiring after all.

Was Apple's "about face" a result of the Federal Govt. announcing that it may not purchase products that are "not EPEAT."

Somebody did not think this through.
This is embarrassing and a bit worrysome as it shows Apple either Apple isnt thinking through decisions well enough or they can be bullied. I'm sure Greenpeace is taking note.

Interesting that this reversal was announced by someone who is retiring and not Tim Cook or Jony Ive.
post #21 of 156

If you check the Retina MBP on Apple's website, http://www.apple.com/environment/reports/, it says it has Gold EPEAT. Of course, trying to search EPEAT's registry goes nowhere so I couldn't confirm this.

post #22 of 156
And those evil Greenpeace people gave a higher rating to all Apple products. Apple just has to continue to do its best to be green, and to give independent entities some proof.
post #23 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Except for what it signals. I think that the new management has the tendency to blink a tad too much.

We'll see where this heads....
Wasn't it just a couple days ago that some spokesperson at Apple publicly defended this decision? Now they're backtracking? Why pull out in the first place?!?
post #24 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by enjourni View Post

Epic fail there Apple. It was pretty obvious they were going to have to rethink this, rather then lose all government sales. Someone seriously dropped the ball.

 

I am not sure the government sales was the issue. I think a solid percentage of Apple customers are moderate to serious environmentalists and they let Apple know what they thought about this. That said, weeks of announcements from governments/universities/large corporations would have created a steady stream of negative media that Apple can do without.

post #25 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alonso Perez View Post

Huh? What does it signal? To me it signals intelligence.

Macho, double-down management is for third-world autocrats and Hitler fans. Flexibility is much smarter, especially when addressing the concerns of an important subgroup of Apple customers.

16 posts before "Hitler fans" appeared.
Must be a record in these forums.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #26 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

If you check the Retina MBP on Apple's website, http://www.apple.com/environment/reports/, it says it has Gold EPEAT. Of course, trying to search EPEAT's registry goes nowhere so I couldn't confirm this.

Looks like searching the EPEAT registry has been slashdotted. Or would the correct term in this context be "insidered"?  :)

post #27 of 156

Does this mean Apple are going to have to compromise on some of their future product designs to accommodate for this backtracking?

 

Oh well, at least Greenpeace will be happier now...lol.gif

post #28 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by scooper4711 View Post

According to the official material available from Apple, http://images.apple.com/environment/reports/docs/macbookpro_retinadisplay_per_june2012.pdf

the Retina display Macbook Pro "Achieves a Gold rating from EPEAT"

 

So, it appears that the initial withdrawal from EPEAT wasn't due to the rMBP. That's what it looks like at least.

 

That's really strange. If so, what was the point of this? Something is off here.

post #29 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by scooper4711 View Post

According to the official material available from Apple, http://images.apple.com/environment/reports/docs/macbookpro_retinadisplay_per_june2012.pdf

the Retina display Macbook Pro "Achieves a Gold rating from EPEAT"

 

So, it appears that the initial withdrawal from EPEAT wasn't due to the rMBP. That's what it looks like at least.

This is interesting.  I was under the impression (clearly false) that the rMBP did not get an EPEAT rating and therefore Apple pulled everything.  That means Apple must be afraid that a future product will not get an EPEAT rating.  I wonder which product.

post #30 of 156

Aside from timing and style, the bottom line remains that the standard is outdated based on old technology and very incomplete to accomplish the desired environmental outcome.  Apple was right that this needs to change as does the new EPEAT leader, hopefully this will drive change.  The cries of foul by press and especially some in Government is mindless attention to rules not effects.

 

Regarding iFixit, who is identified as early identifier of the compliance for Apple's newest MacBooks, from their perspective this is not a good development, they are out of a job.  However, from a total environmental impact and for the user light, responsive, and power efficient device view Apple's new direction makes sense.

 

If the rules are modernized perhaps the EPEAT can now extend to the Post-PC world of Ultrabook, tablet, and smart phones which will dominate the environmental impact starting now and help all of us have a healthier environment.

post #31 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alonso Perez View Post

 

Huh? What does it signal? To me it signals intelligence.

 

Macho, double-down management is for third-world autocrats and Hitler fans. Flexibility is much smarter, especially when addressing the concerns of an important subgroup of Apple customers.

It signals weakness, lack of managerial attention, and/or lack careful planning. Also, the lack of an explanation, in at least the environmental portion of Apple's website, was really horrible PR. Recall the AI article about how Apple was hoping to push standards forward, smartphones and tablets not being covered, etc? Is that all out the window?

 

Incidentally, to whom exactly is Mansfield apologizing? Was there a mass consumer uprising that we never heard about? Or is it to the Greenpeaces of the world?

 

Overall, disappointingly un-Apple like in how this has been executed.

 

Do the thinking first.

post #32 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


16 posts before "Hitler fans" appeared.
Must be a record in these forums.

 

Yeah, you are right. The heck with Goodwin though. The shoe fits.

post #33 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


Wasn't it just a couple days ago that some spokesperson at Apple publicly defended this decision? Now they're backtracking? Why pull out in the first place?!?

Exactly.

post #34 of 156
"officials are reportedly worried that with Apple backing out, other companies may follow suit, wrecking government attempts to buy environmentally friendly hardware."

That opens p speculation that Apple could have done this to force them to alter their testing/rating methods or that Apple was woefully unaware of the backlash but it affected EPEAT even more so that they asked Apple to rejoin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scooper4711 View Post

According to the official material available from Apple, http://images.apple.com/environment/reports/docs/macbookpro_retinadisplay_per_june2012.pdf
the Retina display Macbook Pro "Achieves a Gold rating from EPEAT"

So, it appears that the initial withdrawal from EPEAT wasn't due to the rMBP. That's what it looks like at least.

So either the RMBP Wasn't the issue or the regulations were changed to accommodate the new machine type.

EPEAT certifies products at three different levels:
  • Bronze - product meets all 23 required criteria
  • Silver - product meets all 23 required criteria plus at least 50% of the optional criteria
  • Gold - product meets all 23 required criteria plus at least 75% of the optional criteria

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply
post #35 of 156

Regardless of how anyone characterizes this situation, my greatest concern is with the decision-making process at Apple. Not just the process that brought this about, but also how the process will be affected in the future. Clearly this situation was totally unnecessary. Did Mr. Mansfield make the decision on his own authority? Did Mr. Cook know of and approve, or at least condone, the withdrawal from EPEAT? Did someone else make the decision? Was it a conscious decision by management in general? I'd love to know because the answers to these questions will not only show if there is a weakness in Apple's current management, but also give a clue as to how Apple will make future decisions. I'd hate to see Apple sink into the mire of micromanagement. OK, I know, Steve Jobs was a micromanager, especially in the early years at Apple, but when he returned was a completely different type-a micromanager extraordinaire who pushed innovation. The micromanagement that I fear, and have personally experienced, is the kind that stifles innovation. That would be very bad for Apple.

"You can't fall off the floor"   From 128k Mac to 8GB MBP

Reply

"You can't fall off the floor"   From 128k Mac to 8GB MBP

Reply
post #36 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

It signals weakness, lack of managerial attention, and/or lack careful planning. Also, the lack of an explanation, in at least the environmental portion of Apple's website, was really horrible PR. Recall the AI article about how Apple was hoping to push standards forward, smartphones and tablets not being covered, etc? Is that all out the window?

 

Incidentally, to whom exactly is Mansfield apologizing? Was there a mass consumer uprising that we never heard about? Or is it to the Greenpeaces of the world?

 

Overall, disappointingly un-Apple like in how this has been executed.

 

Do the thinking first.

 

Well, obviously doing the thinking first is better. But if you didn't, or didn't do it right, better to face as soon as you realize it than to stay the course at all costs.

post #37 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

That's.....weird.

 

I can only guess someone high up thought this (the original withdrawal) would be a gutsy move and they could brush away criticism by pointing at other green initiatives. Massive fail. Whoever let this slip though needs to be freed to pursue other opportunities before they do more damage.

post #38 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

... That means Apple must be afraid that a future product will not get an EPEAT rating.

This is what I'm thinking. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

I wonder which product

 

New AppleTV/iMac/Mac Pro?

post #39 of 156

I had never even hard of EPEAT until now. Never cared about it before and still don't.

post #40 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_Me View Post

Glue vs screws

 

Screwgate?

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Apple acknowledges 'mistake,' places eligible products back on EPEAT