Apple's move to stop paying into EPEAT, taking the green distinction away from 39 of its computers, not only made the hippies of San Francisco mad, but it got enough "loyal customers" on the phone to make the company change its mind. "I recognize that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT," Apple senior vice president of hardware Bob Mansfield wrote in a statement on the company site.
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Though Apple promised that the company still cared about the environment, pointing to all its other green efforts, such as Energy Star, apparently the right label matters. Even when Apple had taken its machines off the list, many of them still qualified, of course. But, EPEAT happens to be the mark of greenness that San Francisco and "many loyal customers" like to see on their products. So Apple's back in.
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It was unclear why Apple had decided to forgo EPEAT in the first place. Some observers like Tech Digest's Gerald Lynch, speculated it had something to do with the way the new MacBook with Retina display was put together. This statement makes it seem like Apple doesn't like the standards under which EPEAT operates. "We think the IEEE 1680.1 standard could be a much stronger force for protecting the environment if it were upgraded... This standard, on which the EPEAT rating system is based, is an important measuring stick for our industry and its products," continues Mansfield. Perhaps those standards don't include Retina display screens?
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Update 4:00 p.m.: Hmm, maybe none of this had to do with the Macbook with Retina display after all. EPEAT now has 40 Apple products listed, including that supposed dirty Macbook, as @GristMill brought to our attention on Twitter. Apple did say that the last week had brought the two organizations closer together. So maybe they talked it out. But standards are standards, and the laptop still ranks gold.