As it turns out, federal agencies will be able to buy Apple products after all.
The company announced Friday it will put its products back on the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool registry less than a week after first announcing they would remove the products.
If the products were not on the registry, they would not be certified to be purchased by federal agencies. The government has mandated that 95 percent of all technology purchases be on the EPEAT registry unless there was no standard for the product, as is the case with smart phones and tablets.
By removing itself from the list, Apple would have essentially cut off all of its business with the federal government. And, while the company is not a major supplier of government technology, its commercial success has made its products a hot commodity amongst government workers who are accustomed to using those products in their personal lives.
Apple Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineer Bob Mansfield wrote a letter to consumers that was posted on the company’s site on Friday:
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.
It’s important to know that our commitment to protecting the environment has never changed, and today it is as strong as ever. Apple makes the most environmentally responsible products in our industry. In fact, our engineering teams have worked incredibly hard over the years to make our products even more environmentally friendly, and much of our progress has come in areas not yet measured by EPEAT.
For example, Apple led the industry in removing harmful toxins such as brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). We are the only company to comprehensively report greenhouse gas emissions for every product we make, taking into account the entire product lifecycle. And we’ve removed plastics wherever possible, in favor of materials that are more highly recyclable, more durable, more efficient and longer lasting.
Perhaps most importantly, we make the most energy-efficient computers in the world and our entire product line exceeds the stringent ENERGY STAR 5.2 government standard. No one else in our industry can make that claim.
We think the IEEE 1680.1 standard could be a much stronger force for protecting the environment if it were upgraded to include advancements like these. This standard, on which the EPEAT rating system is based, is an important measuring stick for our industry and its products.
Our relationship with EPEAT has become stronger as a result of this experience, and we look forward to working with EPEAT as their rating system and the underlying IEEE 1680.1 standard evolve. Our team at Apple is dedicated to designing products that everyone can be proud to own and use.