Being Green Is So…2011

I missed this story when it came out on Friday. It is another nail in the Green coffin: Apple “has pulled its products off the U.S. government-backed registration of environmentally friendly electronics.” It wasn’t long ago that Apple devoted considerable marketing effort to trumpeting its products’ environmental friendliness. But that was then, and now? Now, being Green doesn’t have the cachet it once did.

Apple is abandoning the EPEAT standards because they require that products be easy for recyclers to disassemble so that toxic components like batteries can be removed. Apple’s most recent laptops are almost impossible to disassemble; the battery is glued to the case, and the glass display is glued to its back. When the choice came down to quality of design vs. environmental certification, Apple chose quality of design.

Currently, many corporations require that their IT departments purchase EPEAT certified electronics, and the federal government requires that 95% of the electronics it buys be EPEAT certified. But Apple doesn’t seem to be worried:

Wu said he believes Apple will likely soon create an alternate standard for its own products. But in the meantime he believes companies are likely to still buy the products.

“At the end of the day in a business it’s really about what works,” Wu said.

Apple has its finger on the pulse of the Zeitgeist (mixed metaphor? I think so) more than just about anyone, and it evidently has decided that being Green is no longer what buyers care about. I’m not sure it ever was; but any way you look at it, this is good news.

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