SAN FRANCISCO (The Blaze/AP) — Apple’s decision to withdraw from a voluntary environmental ratings registry known EPEAT [Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool] has prompted San Francisco to stop buying its computers.
“We are disappointed that Apple chose to withdraw from EPEAT,” said Melanie Nutter, director of San Francisco’s Department of Environment, according to the Wall Street Journal, “and we hope that the city saying it will not buy Apple products will make Apple reconsider its participation.”
However, the decision does not apply to iPads or iPhones.
San Francisco’s chief information officer, Jon Walton, who oversees the city’s computer procurement, told CIO Journal that he supports a no-Apple policy. He added that if agencies really, really need Apple computers, they can always apply for waivers. However, he added, it would be a “long” and “onerous” process.
Seriously? Agency workers will need a waiver to get an Apple computer?
“It’s going to be very problematic to procure Apple products,” Walton said.
Late last month, Apple Inc. told the nonprofit EPEAT to remove its products from its registry. It also plans to stop submitting its products to EPEAT for environmental ratings.
EPEAT is an industry standard that seeks to make it easier for customers to buy environmentally friendly electronics. Manufacturers still participating include Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Samsung, and Sony.
Although it pulled out of the environmental registry, Apple has long pointed to its environmental track record. On the “environment” section of its website, Apple says it “reports environmental impact comprehensively. We do this by focusing on our products: what happens when we design them, what happens when we make them, and what happens when you take them home and use them.”
For example, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has replaced many of the hazardous materials in its gadgets with less harmful and more recyclable ones, and has designed longer-life batteries for its computers, media players and phones. Its recycling program offers gift cards to people who send in their old Apple gadgets for recycling.
At this writing, it’s not entirely clear why Apple decided to withdraw from EPEAT.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.