Apple's 'mysterious' exit from EPEAT registry raises questions, profile
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Robert Frisbee, CEO of EPEAT, says Apple's exit from the organization's registry is a mystery.
Apple's abrupt yanking of its computer products from the green electronics registry run by EPEAT has raised questions and provoked speculation across the technology industry.
It's also raised the profile of the tiny Portland-based organization that few had heard of before the Apple dustup.
"We're disappointed to lose Apple," said Robert Frisbee, who took over as EPEAT's CEO this spring. "But this does illustrate that we're very strict with our registry."
Earlier this month headlines started to appear announcing that Apple had pulled 39 of its desktop computers, laptops and monitors — including popular MacBook Air and MacBook Pro machines — from the EPEAT registry, which certifies products as being environmentally benign. Those stories in turn led to speculation that schools and government agencies with green policies that require EPEAT registration would no longer be able to purchase Apple products.
On Tuesday, the city of San Francisco announced that it would no longer purchase Apple products because of the company's exit from the EPEAT registry.
"We are disappointed that Apple chose to withdraw from EPEAT," Melanie Nutter, director of San Francisco's Department of Environment told the Wall Street Journal, "and we hope the city saying it will not buy Apple products will make Apple reconsider its participation."
After talking with folks at Apple, Frisbee said Tuesday that Apple's move is still "mysterious" to him.
"I've had a number of conversations with them," he said. "They will continue to be involved in our standards process."
Conjecture about why Apple has severed its ties with the EPEAT registry includes discussion of some of Apple's products, including its much ballyhooed Retina display, that are difficult to take apart for recycling. Others suggest that Apple is making a statement that excellent design is more important than being green.
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