According to the Wall Street Journal the City of San Francisco has decided it will no longer be purchasing Apple products, namely its desktops and laptops, for its municipal agencies.
San Francisco, that is located not far from Apple’s Cupertino campus in California, has made the decision based on Apple’s removal of the green electronics certification from its products. Apple asked the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) to remove MacBooks and Desktop products, 39 in total, from its green registry. Products include past versions of the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.
The decision is primarily based on a 2007 policy that requires San Francisco city agencies to purchase 100% EPEAT-certified desktops, laptops, and monitors. Since Apple withdrew its certification, its products are no longer an option.
What does this mean? Well, the standards set by EPEAT require that products can be easily disassembled by consumers so they can remove any potentially toxic components. Some of Apple’s newest products do not function according to this requirement.
Melanie Nutter, director of San Francisco’s Department of Environment said that “We are disappointed that Apple chose to withdraw from EPEAT and we hope that the city saying it will not buy Apple products will make Apple reconsider its participation.”
Realistically however, the decision is symbolic in nature as only 1%-2% of municipal computers are Macs but Chris Geiger, manager of green purchasing at San Francisco’s Department of Environment, hopes that the decision will influence other cities’ policies regarding the purchase of non EPEAT certified products.
The report also questions the motivation behind Apple’s decision as it originally contributed to creating the EPEAT standards back in 2006 in collaboration with manufacturers, activists and government agencies. A spokesperson for Apple declined to comment on the current situation.
Update: According to The Loop, Apple has now responded. Apple representative Kristin Huguet said that “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, Energy Star 5.2. 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.”