EPEAT Reassessing Ultrathins In Wake of Apple Flip-Flop

EPEATThe folks at EPEAT said on Wednesday that the organization will be reassessing how it rates ultrathin laptops like Apple’s MacBook Pro with Retina Display. Though neither Apple nor its laptops were mentioned in the announcement, the move comes in the wake of Apple having pulled its products from the environmental registry only to backtrack after a public outcry over the move.

“We want to recognize all our stakeholders for the invigorating discussions of the past few weeks,” the company said in a statement posted to its homepage. “The worldwide interest in EPEAT is testimony to the importance of the work we are all engaged in to develop and recognize greener electronics.”

The group said it has launched a “surveillance investigation” to figure out what’s relevant when rating these devices. Again, the specifics weren’t mentioned, but many thought that Apple’s decision to glue the battery to the case for the MacBook Pro with Retina Display was running afoul of EPEAT’s recyclability criteria (EPEAT gave the MacBook Pro with Retina Display a “Gold” rating after Apple came back to the organization).

“We will execute these investigations as rapidly as we can,” EPEAT CEO Robert Frisbee wrote in the statement. “We will consider factual evidence and technical demonstrations from multiple sources including manufacturers, designers, recyclers and other technical experts.”

Reassessing those criteria is an indication that EPEAT wants to stay relevant as companies like Apple (and we really just mean Apple) push design to new heights. At the same time, Apple’s commitment to rejoining the group is an indication of that company’s desire to keep its products green.