Apple's decision to withdraw from a national green certification program has prompted San Francisco's city government on Tuesday to suspend purchase of its desktops and laptops.
According to Wall Street Journal , Apple removed all 39 of its desktop and laptop computers from the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool registry, a green certification program for computers.
In an interview yesterday Jon Walton, the city’s chief information officer, said San Francisco’s 50 departments and 28,000 employees will no longer be able to use city funds to buy Apple desktops, laptops or monitors because the Cupertino, California based company dropped out of the rating system called EPEAT, created to track the environmental impact of computers. The city’s policy doesn’t apply to iPhones and iPads, he said.
Apple's latest laptop, the MacBook Pro, is not eligible for EPEAT certification because of its Retina display, which requires its battery be glued directly to the case. This makes it difficult to recycle, according to EPEAT CEO Robert Frisbee.
Apple’s plan to drop participation in the program may have broad consequences because many governments and universities rely on the EPEAT registry when making purchasing decisions. The University of California, the largest U.S. public higher education system, is considering whether to suspend Apple computer purchases because of the change, said Bill Allison, head of campus technology services at the Berkeley campus, as reported by Bloomberg.
According to CNN, San Francisco also has a rule on the books prohibiting the city from purchasing desktop and laptop computers that are not EPEAT-certified, said Christine Falvey, spokeswoman for the mayor. So the city will not be able to purchase Apple desktops and laptops unless Apple gets the green certification again.
Greenpeace issued a report last November saying Apple was the fourth most green tech company, behind HP, Dell and Nokia. Apple was in ninth place in the previous year's report.