Apple Could Lose the Federal Government’s Business

Apple has lost the city of San Francisco as a customer now that the tech company has withdrawn itself from a program granting environmentally friendly certification to electronic products, EPEAT (the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool). Now Apple, which has long touted its commitment to manufacturing environmentally friendly products, could lose the business of a client with even bigger accounts, the federal government.

Politico reports that federal officials who address sustainability met on Wednesday to discuss whether to continue purchasing Apple products. A government source noted that “federal procurement decisions for fiscal 2013 are being made now” and that Apple’s about-face about EPEAT certification could be a setback for federal efforts to to buy environmentally friendly products.

The city of San Francisco and the federal government are not alone in rethinking their use of Apple products. Many large corporations and universities have committed to purchasing products with EPEAT certification and are reconsidering buying Apple’s not-so-green-as-we-have-been-thinking devices.

The University of California at Berkeley’s interim associate vice chancellor for information technology and chief information officer, Lyle Nevels, said that “We are concerned about environmental protection and sustainability, and that’s why we want to understand Apple’s decision to go in another direction.” Nevels emphasized that, for all that iPads have become so popular, “in university settings, laptops and desktop machines are still kings.”

Apple actually helped to develop EPEAT’s standards so its withdrawal from the certification program is all the more notable. To justify its change of course, Apple has been pointing to its webpage about its environmental footprint and how it is an industry leader in reporting greenhouse gas emissions, while sidestepping the issue of why its iPhones, iPads and the new MacBook Pro with Retina display no longer meet EPEAT criteria. The reason: These products cannot be recycled because their parts (batteries, cases, etc.) are glued together, to meet Apple’s design specifications for smaller, thinner devices.

A Portland-based nonprofit, the Green Electronics Council, runs EPEAT. Besides companies including the Ford Motor Company and institutions including Yale University and Penn State University, EPEAT certification is sought for products purchased by the governments of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the state of New York and the cities of San Jose, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Seattle.

Related Care2 Coverage

Why Apple Lost San Francisco’s Heart: City To Stop Buying Macs

How Green Was Apple: Products Lose Environmentally Friendly Certification

The Green Apple?

Photo: katz2110/flickr


Bruce K.
Bruce K5 years ago

If they want to save Millions they should go with other types anyway.

Isabel A.
Isabel Araujo5 years ago

Thank you for the article.

Steve R.
Steve R5 years ago

Hello Kristina - Apple recanted and is back on the EPEAT program.

Of course - I don't know why anyone would want to buy Apple products anyway, green or not!

I guess most of the greenies really like their Apple i-thingy's and would hate to give them up!

If Apple had not gone back on EPEAT, I wonder how many greenies would have dumped their i-thingy's in protest....

Jen Matheson
Past Member 5 years ago

I guess this explain's why Apple says they've made a mistake.

Ronald E.
Ronald E5 years ago

I have no use for anything Apple has to offer. Their success probably has a lot to do with the massive hatred of Microsoft that has festered for decades. The best choices for consumers were systematically destroyed by these two. Remember DR DOS? Vastly superior to MS DOS, didn't make it in the marketplace.

Patricia A.
Patricia A5 years ago

We are dinosaurs when it comes to technology but I would never buy an Apple product. They are not eco friendly.

John Mansky
John Mansky5 years ago

Thank you for the article...

jo Howard
jo Howard5 years ago

Apple 'Could lose' is a very broad statement. Do you think this will really ever happen...even with all their outsourcing of work, jobs that Americans could do, to overseas companies primarily because it is much cheaper and less restrictive for them to hire foreigners than Americans to do the same job in America....??? You gotta be kidding!

Siti R.
Siti R5 years ago

Apple ought to get 'unglued' so their long term bottom-line isn't affected. wonder who actually make this decision in Apple? isn't the green movement a better goal to keep in mind while the Earth resources are getting scarce and more expensive.?

Duane B.
.5 years ago

One can certainly understand the concern of federal officials of how this might be perceived should they continue to purchase products from Apple.