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Apple withdraws products from green EPEAT certification scheme

Word is starting to hit the airwaves that Apple has officially withdrawn its 39 products from EPEAT certification – that's the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, a program that awards products with "gold," "silver" or "bronze" classification based on how well they meet a variety of environmental criteria including recyclability, energy consumption and environmental impact.

That sounds like a lot of green jargon, but it's a classification program that Apple appeared to take seriously up until the company's request for removal (announced early last month). In fact, Apple still touts its iMacs' EPEAT Gold status on the official product page although, as The Verge notes, the gold status logo is now conspicuously absent from the site.

"Apple has notified EPEAT that it is withdrawing its products from the EPEAT registry and will no longer be submitting its products to EPEAT for environmental rating," wrote EPEAT representatives in a 29 June blog post. "For participating electronics manufacturers, EPEAT is a chance to showcase and validate their greener design initiatives, cleaner production and customer support services."

"We regret that Apple will no longer be registering its products in EPEAT. We hope that they will decide to do so again at some point in future," EPEAT representatives added.

So, why'd Apple leave? According to a Wall Street Journal interview with EPEAT CEO Robert Frisbee, it appears as if Apple's future plans for hardware design are to blame.

"They said their design direction was no longer consistent with the EPEAT requirements," said Frisbee, who added that Apple didn't elaborate on what exactly the company meant by that.

Frisbee went on to confirm that Apple's controversial decision to make its new line of Retina Display MacBook Pro laptops difficult, if not impossible to disassemble, would make the product line ineligible for EPEAT certification.

In other words, gluing the battery and the display to the laptop is an environmental no-no as far as EPEAT's concerned: "If the battery is glued to the case it means you can't recycle the case and you can't recycle the battery," Frisbee clarified.