On the surface, it may sound like a miscalculation by Apple to pull its products from the EPEAT green electronics certification program. With many large companies such as Ford, hundreds of schools, and the US government pushing EPEAT-certified electronics to be purchased in their various departments, it can be argued that Apple is cutting itself out of a large piece of the pie.
They aren’t. Design over environmental certification will win out in the end and the company will continue to thrive.
The release of their latest version of the Macbook Pro marked the end of the certification. They knew it. They made design decisions that included gluing in the battery and other components that would make it lose its certification. Rather than get into the complicated discussion of why this Macbook Pro was less green-worthy than previous ones, they simply had all of their 39 EPEAT-certified products removed from the list. In the future, they will likely add their own variation of certification or green standards program to replace the government-funded service that they helped to create; they established many of the standards for certification.
Smaller is better in today’s electronic world and to continue building green-certified products meant limits to how small they could go. The simple change to glue instead of screws is enough to shave precious millimeters from their design. It was worth it. The general population, which accounts for a large part of their sales, will not know the difference. Apple sales will talk to larger companies about why their lack of certification isn’t really that bad and that their products are actually greener than many certified products. They can’t be certified because they have to be easily disassembled and that’s not possible with glue.
The Apple spin machine will make this work.