Apple, owning up to 'mistake,' returns to EPEAT

Apple announced Friday it will return to the EPEAT fold.

Apple announced Friday it will return to the EPEAT fold. 

Apple Inc. announced Friday that it would return all 39 of its previously listed electronics products to the eco-friendly registry maintained by Portland-based EPEAT.

In an open letter, Apple Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering Bob Mansfield said, "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."

In his own letter on the topic, EPEAT CEO Robert Frisbee wrote, "We look forward to Apple’s strong and creative thoughts on ongoing standards development."

Earlier this month, Apple's unceremonious exit from the EPEAT registry, which verifies that computer and electronics products and adhere to a set of environmentally friendly practices, made waves throughout the industry. EPEAT stands for the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool.

Neither Apple nor EPEAT officials every spoke specifically about why Apple left the registry. EPEAT's Frisbee, called it a "mystery."

But speculation was that some Apple products, including its Retina display, are difficult to take apart and recycle.

Hinting at the issue, Frisbee states in his letter, "The outcome must reward new directions for both design and sustainability, simultaneously supporting the environment and the market for all manufacturers’ elegant and high-performance products."

"Our relationship with EPEAT has become stronger as a result of this experience," Apple's Mansfield wrote.

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