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Apple reinstates green certification after public outcry

A view of the main entrance to Apple Inc. in Cupertino, California on March 11, 2011.  AFP PHOTO/Ryan Anson/AFP/Getty Images
A view of the main entrance to Apple Inc. in Cupertino, California on March 11, 2011. AFP PHOTO/Ryan Anson/AFP/Getty Images
AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Sometimes, the people really do have the power.

It was just two days ago when we reported that computer company Apple had yanked 39 products from EPEAT, a government regulated global registry of environmentally friendlier products that Apple helped establish.

Fallout from the move was swift, with a public outcry that included Greenpeace and the city of San Francisco, which announced it would no longer purchase Apple products due to the voluntary decertification.

As reported by Yahoo News, the backlash was loud enough that Apple has done an about-face, announcing today that as many products as possible would be returned to the EPEAT registry.

“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,” said Bob Mansfield, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering in a public statement.

“It’s important to know that our commitment to protecting the environment has never changed, and today it is as strong as ever,” the statement continued. “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.”

The letter goes on to reaffirm Apple’s commitment to being environmentally friendly, ending on the claim that “(Apple’s) relationship with EPEAT has become stronger as a result of this experience.”

“Apple is a long-time participant in the EPEAT system, and we are glad to see their products back on our registry,” said Sarah O’Brien, EPEAT’s Director of Outreach and Communications, by phone from the group’s Portland offices. “As you saw in their letter, it really was the end-users out there that were really disappointed by Apple’s decision, and communicated that very clearly. It’s very interesting and meaningful in terms of what people are looking for in their products. Consumers want great design and sustainability, and they want some way to measure it. That’s what EPEAT offers: A neutral, third-party to measure product performance on environmental grounds.”