Apple is defending its decision to have its products removed from the EPEAT environmental standards certification program. Speaking to The Loop, Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet explained that just because it dumped EPEAT, that doesn't mean that Apple will begin clubbing baby seals with old iPads and dumping used iPhone batteries into the Arctic Circle.
According to Huguet, Apple works to measure its overall environmental impact and ensures that all of its products adhere to the U.S. government's Energy Star 5.2 standards. "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."
According to The Wall Street Journal, the EPEAT standard measures a device's ability to be recycled. Apple's products, especially the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display, are notoriously difficult to tear down and recycle due to the company's desire to create thinner and lighter devices. Therefore, it makes sense that the company would ask to be removed from the list. It's also worth pointing out that Apple was one of the companies that helped to create EPEAT. The EPEAT standard also doesn't cover two of Apple's most popular product categories, phones and tablets.
Unfortunately for Apple, The Journal article points out, 95 percent of the electronics the government purchases must have EPEAT certifications. Additionally, many universities and colleges are more likely to purchase EPEAT certified equipment.