San Francisco to cease Mac purchases without EPEAT certification

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Officials in the city of San Francisco are moving to block the purchases of new Macs after Apple removed EPEAT certification from its laptops and desktops.

San Francisco Department of Environment officials who spoke with The Wall Street Journal said letters will be sent out over the next two weeks to the city's 50 agencies that Macs "no longer qualify" for purchase with city funds. Jon Walton, San Francisco's chief information officer, said city employees will still be able to buy Macs, but that doing so will require a "long" and "onerous" process that will make it "very problematic" to do so.

Tuesday's report portrayed the city's decision as "largely symbolic," as only between 500 and 700 of its municipal computers are Macs, representing 1 to 2 percent of its total usage.

Last week, it was revealed that Apple has asked the government-backed electronics standard setting group EPEAT to remove 39 desktops, laptops and monitors from its list of environmentally friendly devices. The move even removed legacy devices that already held EPEAT certification from the agency's list.

The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool was the result of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant awarded to the Zero Waste Alliance for an electronics assessment program.

MacBook Pro Environmental Impact
The MacBook Pro with Retina display environmental information no longer mentions the EPEAT standard
and was not submitted for certification. | Source: Apple


San Francisco may be just the first government agency to move away from Macs following Apple's decision. Because of a 2007 executive order, 95 percent of all federal agency purchases must be EPEAT-registered products, and many manufacturers strive to attain the group's "Gold" rating.

EPEAT certification requires that a product must be easily disassembled with common tools to have toxic components like batteries separated from recyclable materials. Apple's products have become increasingly difficult to take apart, as evidenced by iFixit giving the company's new Retina display MacBook Pro its lowest ever repairability score of 1 out of 10.

Apple's decision to remove EPEAT certification from its Mac lineup is curious, because the company helped to create the EPEAT standards in 2006. The company also regularly discloses environmental assessments of its products and supply chain partners, and even touts how "green" its products are at keynote presentations.

But the new Retina display MacBook Pro would not have been eligible for EPEAT certification because its battery is glued to the case, the organization's CEO, Robert Frisbee, told the Journal. An Apple staffer reportedly told EPEAT in June that the Mac maker was leaving the registry because of changes to its "design direction."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 195
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    But the new Retina display MacBook Pro would not have been eligible for EPEAT certification because its battery is glued to the case, the organization's CEO, Robert Frisbee, told the <em>Journal</em>. An Apple staffer reportedly told EPEAT in June that the Mac maker was leaving the registry because of changes to its "design direction."

    It's really sad how we let idiots make decisions for us. Glue does not make the laptop any less recyclable - and Apple leads the industry (by far) in recyclability of its computers.
  • Reply 2 of 195
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Officials in the city of San Francisco are moving to block the purchases of new Macs after Apple removed EPEAT certification from its laptops and desktops.

    In other news, Apple to move all business to Indiana.
  • Reply 3 of 195
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,510member
    jragosta wrote: »
    It's really sad how we let idiots make decisions for us. Glue does not make the laptop any less recyclable - and Apple leads the industry (by far) in recyclability of its computers.

    Are you a recycling specialist? Apparently no, because glue does make recycling much more difficult.
  • Reply 4 of 195
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member


    If some Apple products, for the sake of advancement, are going to get recycled by methods that don’t fit the current EPEAT rules, then so be it. No avoiding this. Just so long as they still are recyclable, and Apple sees to it that they get recycled! Which Apple does do.


     


    It IS a great thing, on some level, to keep using the same old construction techniques that support the most common recycling methods. But coming up with NEW construction techniques that have real value, and new recycling methods to deal with that, is simply necessary sooner or later.


     


    It does seem like Apple should keep their legacy products on the list for now, though.


     


    I also hope the chosen glue isn’t needlessly hazardous!


     


    (I wonder if Apple is trying behind the scenes to get the rules updated to allow for newer construction methods?)

  • Reply 5 of 195
    msimpsonmsimpson Posts: 452member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post





    In other news, Apple to move all business to Indiana.


     


    The real reason is that Apple only supports Thunderbolt and USB ports and has not adopted the new GLBT universal access ports.

  • Reply 6 of 195
    knightlieknightlie Posts: 282member
    Not surprising, this was bound to happen. It's very disappointing that Apple have chosen to go in this direction.
  • Reply 7 of 195
    magic_almagic_al Posts: 325member


    Many of Apple's current products are EPEAT certified but Apple withdrew from certification across the board for uniformity. Of course a government is going treat those actually qualified products as if they magically became less environmentally friendly this week.

  • Reply 8 of 195
    gbdocgbdoc Posts: 59member


    But what's the real deal? Is Apple's new "design direction" simply ignoring environmental concerns (producing dirty but cute iStuff), is the EPEAT certification somehow faulty (to which Apple objects), or is something else going on?

  • Reply 9 of 195
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,583member


    A bunch of really sick people live in San Francisco. Isn't that the same city that banned happy meals a while ago? Those people are batshit insane. And they've also considered banning pets? Is that an actual American city or is it some little communist town run by radical, authoritarian, dictator wannabes? It's like a prison for freaks.


     


    As for San Fran banning Macs from being bought by city agencies, who cares? As the article said, Macs only make up a percent or two of their complete usage, so let 'em ban what they want. Apple doesn't need San Fran, and neither do I.

  • Reply 10 of 195
    agramonteagramonte Posts: 345member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post





    In other news, Apple to move all business to Indiana.


    and GOV sales to China...


     


    that way Apple can downgrade the brand in one press release.

  • Reply 11 of 195
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    clemynx wrote: »
    Are you a recycling specialist? Apparently no, because glue does make recycling much more difficult.

    Much more difficult? Nonsense. I've taken apart plenty of electronics items where the batter is glued in. It takes an additional few seconds, although with the right tools, it might be even faster than removing screws. They make a simple device that's like a motorized paint scraper that makes this trivial.
  • Reply 12 of 195
    markbyrnmarkbyrn Posts: 608member


    I have yet to figure out why Apple took the step to remove Macs that were already EPEAT certified.  Even if one current machine or perhaps future machines don't meet the standard, than deal with it, but just pulling out completely and withdrawing already certified machines doesn't seem to smell right.  Is this a case of Apple having a temper tantrum because EPEAT wouldn't change the standards to ensure their new Retina Mac would be certified?   Being as Apple is located in a region of the country where the religion of Green is perhaps the strongest and you pay lip service even if you don't really live the religion, you really have to question the decision making process here.  I understand Mr. Cook wants to 'double-down' on secrecy but unless Apple has a new form of leafy green brilliance under it's sleeve, this move might be very costly in terms of losing government contracts.  

  • Reply 13 of 195
    rcomeaurcomeau Posts: 29member


    Its not about whether it is possible to disassemble it, it is whether it is possible to disassemble it without it costing an arm and a leg. Everything is recyclable if money were not an object. So instead of spending a few $$ now to design it to be recyclable with simple tools (i,e, economically feasible), they make it cheaper up front and make it too expensive at the back end to recycle. Kind of like we pay for the cost of extracting and refining oil, but we don't pay the cost of the damage burning the oil actually does. If Apple is supposed to consider the entire life cycle, economically feasible recycling is supposed to be part of it.

  • Reply 14 of 195


    Pretty bitchy San Fran.


     


    Wonder why Apple didn't try to update the standards?  Manufacturing techniques evolve after all, not just at Apple.

  • Reply 15 of 195
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,799member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    A bunch of really sick people live in San Francisco. Isn't that the same city that banned happy meals a while ago? Those people are batshit insane. And they've also considered banning pets? Is that an actual American city or is it some little communist town run by radical, authoritarian, dictator wannabes? It's like a prison for freaks.


     


    As for San Fran banning Macs from being bought by city agencies, who cares? As the article said, Macs only make up a percent or two of their complete usage, so let 'em ban what they want. Apple doesn't need San Fran, and neither do I.



    image Angry much?  If you don't live there, what does it matter to you?


     


    Me, I think I'd like San Francisco a lot.

  • Reply 16 of 195
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    magic_al wrote: »
    Many of Apple's current products are EPEAT certified but Apple withdrew from certification across the board for uniformity. Of course a government is going treat those actually qualified products as if they magically became less environmentally friendly this week.

    Right?! So nothing has changed with Apple's products and yet now it' a big deal. To me that proves just how pointless EPEAT is when people blindly follow something without understanding it.

    There was talk of only $45k being spent, which includes iDevices which never had EPEAT ratings. When you exclude iDevices rom the list and only consider their profits from Mac sales from that total you have a very small value.
  • Reply 17 of 195
    agramonteagramonte Posts: 345member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    A bunch of really sick people live in San Francisco. Isn't that the same city that banned happy meals a while ago? Those people are batshit insane. And they've also considered banning pets? Is that an actual American city or is it some little communist town run by radical, authoritarian, dictator wannabes? It's like a prison for freaks.


     


    As for San Fran banning Macs from being bought by city agencies, who cares? As the article said, Macs only make up a percent or two of their complete usage, so let 'em ban what they want. Apple doesn't need San Fran, and neither do I.



     


     


    If you live in the USA you need San Francisco.

  • Reply 18 of 195
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,451member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    It's really sad how we let idiots make decisions for us. Glue does not make the laptop any less recyclable - and Apple leads the industry (by far) in recyclability of its computers.


    Apple made the decision themselves to remove their own products from the approved list. They weren't thrown off. I'm very certain you don't think Apple management are the "idiots (who) make decisions for us".

  • Reply 19 of 195
    danv2danv2 Posts: 29member


    I work for the Federal Government, and as a rule the organization I work for (which will remain anonymous) can only buy 5% of its purchases as non-EPEAT compliant. Therefore, Apple has painted themselves into corner on government sales at the US Federal level. If either EPEAT or Apple cannot budge you will see a large backlash of data on this issue. I'm not saying either should change, but the plain fact is that Macs and other Apple mobile devices won't be looked to as a purchasable item for government and educational use.


     


    This is perhaps the largest mistake Apple could have made, politically speaking, with regards to government and education.

  • Reply 20 of 195


    Dudes this ruins everything!  I had it in my heart to work for SF city government, on a brand new Mac they provide! Now what???


     


    On a more lighthearted note, I find it more than slightly ironic that the most rebel communistic city in California (not counting the Pacific Stock Exchange and the many financial organizations that are headquartered there, of course) is making such a fine point of adhering to the George W Bush executive order making 3PEAT the law of the land for "cities buying parts."


     


    Glad I'm from *Southern* California, dudes.  I left my heart -- and my government Mac -- in San Francisco.

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