Apple flip-flops, gets back together with EPEAT

Apple flip flops on EPEAT

Apple and EPEAT are back together, guys! In a blog itemletter to customers” posted earlier today, Apple Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering Bob Mansfield posted a very un-Apple announcement saying that, after a slew of “loyal customers” freaked out over the electronics giant pulling its products from the EPEAT registry — the scale of how much products are screwing up the environment — “all applicable products” are back in the loving, green arms of EPEAT “starting today.”

“It’s important to know that our commitment to protecting the environment has never changed, and today it is as strong as ever,” writes Mansfield. “Apple makes the most environmentally responsible products in our industry. In fact, our engineering teams have worked incredibly hard over the years to make our products even more environmentally friendly, and much of our progress has come in areas not yet measured by EPEAT.” 

Mansfield goes on to give a few examples about how Apple “led the industry in removing harmful toxins” from the manufacturing process of electronics, and how it makes ” the most energy-efficient computers in the world.” And how Mansfield himself once saved the life of an abandoned duck-billed platypus baby after he miraculously began producing platypus breast milk from his own teets. No, he didn’t say that.

Anyway, you get the gist: Apple has not and is not taking systematically savaging Mother Earth or her children, regardless of whether it has the EPEAT stamp of approval. But if you guys really want the EPEAT thing, fine, here you go. Happy? 

Yes, yes we are. 

As my colleague Brad Chacos pointed out earlier today (before Apple flip-flopped on EPEAT), Apple didn’t really give a crap about EPEAT because, well, its actual customers weren’t really that worried about it either — until it wasn’t there anymore. The only buyer that takes EPEAT into consideration in a meaningful way is the U.S. government, which is still very much in the Windows-PC camp. (The San Francisco government is, however, another story.) In other words, the government isn’t buying that many MacBook Airs and iPhones. The average Apple fanboy or fangirl didn’t worry about EPEAT — so why should Apple? 

Well, now the people who do buy Apple’s products are worried about EPEAT, at least in a superficial, I’m-enjoying-my-own-righteous-indignation kind of way. 

Everything works out in the end, they say. And so it goes for Apple and EPEAT. Mansfield says that Apple’s “relationship with EPEAT has become stronger as a result of this experience.” And by “stronger,” he probably means EPEAT can now hold Apple hostage because it knows just how much customers lose their minds when Apple does anything even remotely controversial.