Last week, Apple pulled 39 products from the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) registry. This launched a round of public criticism and talk from government entities, including the city of San Francisco, that they would no longer be purchasing Apple products. Apple responded with an open letter from Bob Mansfield, Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering, which announced the following:
We’ve recently heard from many loyal Apple customers who were disappointed to learn that we had removed our products from the EPEAT rating system. I recognize that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT.
This is a rare admission from Apple that they made a mistake. In the letter, Mansfield stresses that Apple remains strongly committed to the environment and that it is a priority to the company. As they did when they initially withdrew from EPEAT, Apple once again expressed a desire to upgrade and improve the IEEE 1680.1 standard.
While initially a public relations disaster, Apple has a chance to improve their standing in the long run if they are successful in helping EPEAT modify their rating system to allow even more Apple products to be certified.