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Apple pulls out of program for environment-minded products

As reported by CNET:

Apple has decided to stop participating in a major program devoted to the production of environmentally friendly products, reportedly saying that its design direction is no longer in line with the program’s requirements.

Late last month, Apple told the nonprofit EPEAT group that the company would no longer submit its products for green certification from EPEAT and that it was pulling its currently certified products from the group’s registry.

EPEAT, or the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, receives funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and calls itself “the leading global environmental rating system for electronic products, connecting purchasers to environmentally preferable choices and benefiting producers who demonstrate environmental responsibility and innovation.” As for the U.S. government and Apple:

The U.S. government requires that 95 percent of its electronics bear the EPEAT seal of approval; large companies such as Ford and Kaiser Permanente require their CIOs to buy from EPEAT-certified firms; and many of the largest universities in the U.S. prefer to buy EPEAT-friendly gear, CIO Journal reports.

Apple “said their design direction was no longer consistent with the EPEAT requirements,” CIO Journal quotes EPEAT CEO Robert Frisbee as saying. “They were important supporters and we are disappointed that they don’t want their products measured by this standard anymore.”

Sorry, folks at Apple…I think that your NIH (“Not Invented Here” Syndrome) tradition is detrimental here. It might actually be good to use the “Sesame Street Syndrome” :-) of  “C-O-O-P-E-R-A-T-I-O-N” in this case to develop a NEW standard. CIO Journal reports that Apple may soon introduce an alternate green standard to apply to its products.

EPEAT requirements hold that electronics must be easy to disassemble, so their components can be recycled. The iPhone, the iPad, and the new MacBook Pro with Retina display don’t pass muster because of things like batteries and glass displays that are glued to casings and backings.

CNET notes:

We’ve contacted Apple for comment and will update this post if and when we hear back. CIO Journal said Apple had declined to comment but had referred the site to the Environment section of Apple’s Web site.

My advice? Apple learned a long time ago how to be a “good loser,” and NOW it must learn to be a “gracious winner.” To me, that means learning how to “play well with others” and to store much of those billions of cash reserves WITHIN the country that harbors it. If Apple does not, it risks the inevitable comparisons with Microsoft, another Myers-Briggsf _NTJ dominated company, which NEVER learned to play with others, well or otherwise.

Frankly, I think that Apple, and its wonderful products (you will look hard to find someone who believes in Apple products as much as I do), are ABOVE such comparisons, but it remains for Apple to continue to demonstrate its willingness to work with others.

I think that the rewards far outweigh the disadvantages.

-Bill at

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