Government agencies in San Francisco had passed a ruling which prevented officials from purchasing new Apple Macintosh computers due to Apple's refusal to sign-up to a 'green charter'. In a sudden u-turn, Apple has decided to sign-up.
Earlier this week Digital Journal reported San Francisco’s administrators decided not to use Macs because Apple withdrew from an environmental protection certification scheme.
The certification scheme is called the EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) registry. The scheme issues each electronic device submitted for review with an assessment rating.
The BBC notes the object of the scheme is to identify which electronic devices are the most environmentally friendly and so guide local government staff as to the computers and other electronic devices which devices should be purchased.
According to the CIO journal, officials in San Francisco procured $45,579 worth of Apple computers in 2010. This is not a large sum compared to Apple’s multi-billion dollar sales figures. However, the news reports that Apple was not appearing to be green had caused the company some embarrassment, given that its headquarters is located nearby in Cupertino.
Furthermore, a report on Politico suggests other Federal agencies may decide not to buy Apple products.
In an unexpected u-turn, Apple has rejoined an environmental ratings scheme a week after quitting the program. The change of policy comes in the form of a press release on the Apple website:
"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."
The announcement was made by Apple's senior vice president of hardware engineering Bob Mansfield, who has recently announced that he is to leave the company.