EPEAT recently announced that Apple's retina MacBook Pro meets their gold standard when it comes to environmental standards. This begs the question of how Apple managed this considering the retina MacBook Pro is the least repairable device many have seen in decades? EPEAT surrendered to Apple and actually changed their standards in order for Apple to qualify.
Back when the retina MacBook Pro was released Apple originally planned on dropping EPEAT certification from some of their product lines, specifically their laptops. After some backlash, Apple re-applied and the retina MacBook Pro has now been certified as "gold" by EPEAT.
EPEAT's old standards would have never have allowed the retina MacBook Pro to pass through. Apple was most likely aware of this, which is why they pulled their certification initially. EPEAT seems to be bending to Apple's needs in order to qualify their devices.
The Retina MacBook Pro—the least repairable, least recyclable computer I have encountered in more than a decade of disassembling electronics—was just verified EPEAT "Gold." This decision demonstrates that the EPEAT standard has been watered down to an alarming degree: proprietary, Apple-invented Pentalobe screwdrivers are now considered "commonly available tools" and a USB thumb drive is an "upgrade."
But what exactly does this mean for consumers and the future of laptops and portable electronics?
It means that standards will be looser and manufacturers don't have to pay so much attention to how they're designing their products. This isn't only bad for the consumer but for the environment as well. If organizations such as EPEAT are willing to bend the rules to appease one manufacturer, it lowers the standards across the board. This means laptops you get in the future may not be as upgradeable as EPEAT says they are. Inserting a thumb drive into a computer does not count as an upgrade by any means and any organization willing to say it is needs to revisit what their priorities are.
iFixIt is urging consumers to e-mail the CEO of EPEAT and/or tweet them if you are dissatisfied with their decision. Hit the link below for EPEAT's contact information and to read more on their decision regarding the retina MacBook Pro's certification.
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