Apple has decided to drop out of an environmental rating standard called EPEAT. As a result, San Francisco is planning to suspend business with Apple, informed Bill Allison, head of campus technology services at the Berkeley campus. This means that 50 departmnts and about 28,000 employees would not be able to use city funds to buy Apple desktops, laptopsand monitors. The restriction does not apply to iPads and iPhones.
Jon Walton, the city’s chief information officer, informed in an interview that EPEAT standard was started in 2006 by technolog companies, US government agencies and outside groups to measure and rate electronic products. EPEAT tracks the environmental impact of computers. This basis is used by a large number ofAmerican institution to govern purchasing decisions. The federal government requires that 95% of its laptops and desktops be certified by EPEAT
The University of California, being the largest US public higher-education system, makes up a sizeable chunk of business for Apple.
Allison further stated, “When something like this happens, it’s a significant change in the landscape. The school needs two weeks to work with Apple and administrators in the university system to consider how to move forward. We’re reviewing the impact of this.”
EPEAT wrote in its website, “We regret that Apple will no longer be registering its products in EPEAT. We hope that they will decide to do so again at some point in future.”
The website also states that its registry is used by the states of California and Massachusetts, Ford and Yale University in making purchasing decisiona.
In San Francisco, Apple’s products make up about $45,000 of the city’s total $200 million information technology budget.
Walton added, “I’m just hopeful that we can have a dialog with Apple so we can continue to work with them.”
Allison also informed that EPEAT standards are followed by universities since they donot have the bidget and time to review each product they buy.
In response, Apple has defendedits decision to dro out of EPEAT.
Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for 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.”
Since the standars followed by EPEAT are several years old now and standards have not been accommodate or updated to make up for the sliommer peoducts that customers now prefer, the effectiveness of EPEAT ratings and registry has started to fail and go outdated. With Apple’s move, there are chances of EPEAT updating its environmental standards so that it is at par with the development in the technological field and electronic devices in recent years.
Allison added, “It may be that we need to help push vendors who like to act unilaterally when they can to work together to evolve the current standard.”