People got a different aspect and l image based on private concerns which may not meet the standard by the 3rd party like EPEAT. It’s a common gap between the public and the certification system. that every verification body has developed its methodology to evaluate based on certain concerns. In the end, the market competition will decide who is willing to support (pay for) the certification for their identity and enhance the capacity to run for a win-win situation.
As a new green design alliance, Taiwan Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Alliance is facing the similar constraints that what C2C can provide differ and affordable incentives to achieve a better realistic and ideal win-win solution?
The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) has controversially awarded Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) Macbook Pro Retina its highest possible environmental performance rating of gold.
The body, which rates the environmental credentials of electronic products based on a number of criteria including recyclability, also passed a three other ultra-thin laptops from Lenovo (NASDAQ: LNVGY), Samsung (OTCOTHER: SSNLF) and Toshiba (NASDAQ: TOSBF).
Four months ago Apple controversially walked away from the EPEAT rating system amid speculation that its latest products, including the Macbook Pro Retina, would not pass the assessment criteria. In a matter of days the company had made a dramatic u-turn following vociferous criticism.
According to EPEAT the decision to award the gold rating is the culmination of a lengthy review of a number of specific criteria – and of a broad array of notebook products registered in the EPEAT system.
The organisation said that specific areas of concern addressed included whether products could be upgraded, if tools were commonly available to accomplish upgrades, and whether materials of concern including batteries could be easily removed from ultrathin products.
Following a disassembly investigation by an independent Product Verification Committee (PVC), the test lab recommended that all the products be found to satisfy EPEAT requirements.
After reviewing the data and recommendations provided by the lab, the PVC found all investigated products to be in conformance with EPEAT criteria, clearing the way for all the products investigated to remain on the EPEAT registry.
The decision to pass the Macbook Pro Retina has been met with derision by many in the industry due to the widespread view that it is extremely difficult to disassemble and or repair. This thanks largely to the use of manufacturing techniques such as gluing the battery in.
In a blog post deriding the gold award, Kyle Wiens – co-founder and CEO of iFixit, an online repair community and parts retailer internationally renowned for its open source repair manuals and product teardowns – claimed that the decision was “a case of clear greenwashing”.
“At best, the interpretation of the EPEAT Gold standard is laughably out of touch. At worst, it means recyclers a decade from now may be faced with a mountain of electronic waste they cannot affordably recycle without custom disassembly fixtures and secret manufacturer information,” Wiens commented.
Following a comprehensive teardown of the MacBook Pro Retina on the iFixit site, Weins said that he had found the model to be completely non-upgradeable, with RAM soldered in, a proprietary interface for the SSD storage, the battery glued down with strong glue, and the case held together using proprietary screws.
According to Weins the decision to award such a machine gold status flies in the face of a number the standard’s own criteria, including:
“Product shall be upgradeable with commonly available tools”
“External enclosures shall be easily removable by one person alone with commonly available tools. Hard disk, digital versatile disc (DVD), floppy drive can be changed or extended. Memory and cards can be changed or extended”
“Circuit boards >10 square cm (measured on the largest face), batteries, and other components – any of which contain hazardous materials – shall be safely and easily identifiable and removable”.
“Does the Retina MacBook meet those criteria? On the surface, it seems that a product assembled with proprietary screws, glued-in hazardous batteries, non-upgradeable memory and storage, and several large, difficult-to-remove circuit boards would fail all three tests,” blogged Weins.
However, the terms “commonly available” and “safely and easily” were not defined in the EPEAT standard, leaving the door open for some creative thinking by the Product Verification Committee.
The EPEAT strikes back
In a report by technology website ZDNet, EPEAT hit back at the claims, claimed that there had been no caving in to Apple, and that the MacBook Pro with Retina display awarded gold because it passed the necessary criteria.
Sarah O’Brien, EPEAT’s director of outreach and communications is reported to have pointed out in an email that the disassembly criteria used in the testing of products were for recycling or shredding, not for upgrade, so the inclusion of proprietary pentalobe screws is irrelevant.
“The test lab went through the process and reported that the products were all easy to disassemble with commonly available tools,” claimed O’Brien.
Weins meanwhile is unconvinced. “Apple’s Retina MacBook Pro – the least repairable, least recyclable computer I have encountered in more than a decade of disassembling electronics.”
“Our engineers spent over an hour attempting to separate the battery from the computer, carefully prying to avoid puncturing the battery. If this computer can earn a gold status, we should be asking ourselves: What can’t earn a green rating?” he asked
Answering his own question, Weins concluded: “With the new definitions, pretty much every computer can be included in the registry.”