How the Retina MacBook Pro got its EPEAT Gold rating

Barbara Kyle, the ETBC’s National Coordinator, on Fortune:

“It’s important to understand that the manufacturers grade themselves against the EPEAT criteria first, and then EPEAT conducts a review of this grading. That EPEAT review has not yet occurred. They can require the manufacturers to remove any product from the registry if it is not found to conform to the IEEE standard.”

Okay, so Apple gave itself a gold rating. If the Retina MacBook Pro didn’t pass muster before, it certainly can’t pass now — nothing changed. If the gold rating sticks then we call bullshit. Maybe Apple saw the advantages of having the remainder of its product line on EPEAT even if the Retina models don’t make it. Seems odd though if you think that Retina is the future of the product.

  • What a messed-up rating system.

  • No

    I doubt EPEAT publishes on their website if it has not reviewed the rating. Source of the comment is pro-recycling group.

    Also Macbook Air has the same screws that can’t be opened and has battery glued. Just like ipad3, and may be iphone4s.

  • Steven Fisher

    Recycling is just a smokescreen.

    The MacBook with Retina isn’t repairable. Thus, people consider it disposable. How could a disposable machine possibly be good for the environment? The answer is: It doesn’t really matter that much. If it significantly reduces the time between its purchase and the purchase of its replacement, the environmental damage is the bits that can’t be recovered and the toxins that escape, prorated for the shorter life.

    I don’t see the useful life of the MacBook going down much. The only problems I’ve had with mine have been hard drive related. And the glue does NOT stop someone from disassembling it, it just means they won’t be able to put it back together after. Obviously, that’s not an issue for recycling.

    What we have here is a complete lack of critical thinking, and a knee-jerk reaction to the world changing.

    • kibbles

      not user serviceable != not repairable.

      not sure why so many are overlooking this. little of your car is user serviceable yet it’s still repairable.

      • Minge

        if the item goes past warranty, then it is not user serviceable == not repairable

      • Steven Fisher

        You’re assuming Apple will bother repairing it. I suspect they’ll do the same thing they do with iPhones: take it back, and replace it with a unit with the same configuration. The broken unit will be refurbished.

        It’ll be interesting to see which Apple decides on.

  • I’m surprised at your reaction Jim. I don’t think it is BS.

    EPAET sounds like the kind of standards that the EU and TGA use for medical devices. A set of standard criteria that manufacturers make a self assessment against.

    It also seems clear that the criteria being used is out of date and doesn’t account for the change in device use that is occurring.

    Apple can and will recycle the Retina machines if/when they are returned under their existing successful recycling program. Therefore they are recyclable (under the criteria) and will no doubt pass audit by EPEAT.

    This is a storm in a tea cup whipped up by ifixit and other vested interests who see a loss of relevance if Apple’s laptops continue down this path.

  • I want to hear more from EPEAT about how it intends to update its testing criteria. I’d certainly like to see someone knowledgeable write a story about EPEAT’s functional history as a link in the bureaucratic chain of government-approved contracting.

  • Jim H

    I am also thinking that the temporary withdraw by Apple from this group at the time of their annual fees might have been strategic to get the standard updated. Somewhere else I read that EPEAT was looking forward to working with Apple to update the standards. So instead of the BS response, I suspect that this was all strategic to get a group to move forward. Standards bodies are notorious for slow change which is contradictory to the speed that Apple moves.