In one version of Apple's reversal on EPEAT, it suggests that EPEAT isn't able to adequately measure Apple's efforts:
From the WSJ:
In his letter, Mr. Mansfield defended Apple's efforts to make its devices "the most environmentally responsible products in our industry," and that much of the company's progress isn't yet measured by the Epeat standard. But, he admitted, customers clearly were concerned about the company's continued involvement in the registry.
"Environmental experts suggest Apple is dropping out of EPEAT because its newer products won't pass muster"
Barba, am not getting what's Apples basic intention by dropping EPEAT. They already faced some problems with Foxconn issues. Apple is an international reputed company and they have to adhere with similar environmental and RoHS standards.
Michael, Quite correct. Apple is a "celebrated" company but that shouldn't have a role in critical decisions about the environment. In the end, a company does not operate in a vacuum independent of its society and while Apple's leadership may be expected, it isn't Apple's duty to lead a "movement." What it has an obligation to do, however, is be socially responsible.
I think Apple was mistaken in believing it could exit EPEAT without repercussions. It believed the hubris that it doesn't matter as long as it continues to make great products that buyers want. In fact, its profit motive should drive membership in this type of environmental organizations. I recall Pasquale Pistorio, former CEO of chipmaker STMicroelectronics saying the company was "doing business while doing good," in reference to his commitment to policies that support the environment.
"For a company like Apple simply being EPEAT compliant would have been a better option rather than causing a stir by opting out. Opting out will raise concerns and question marks on people's minds for sure"
@Cryptoman: I agree that Apple could have avoided all the negative publicity if it did not choose to opt out of EPEAT. However, there may be genuine reasons as to why Apple did so. May be it does feel that its supply chain is not fully compliant with EPEAT rules and that there may be bigger accusations later on if Apple is still part of EPEAT.
It also amazes me as to why is Apple mainly targeted from time to time when it comes to treatment of labor or protection of environment. Yes, Apple may be one of the most profitable electronics company but it isn't the sole one. Neither are other companies fully compliant with ethical laws that they should never come under scrutiny.
If Apple which earns very high revenues from its products doesnt care about environment then how can we expect other small to care about environment ?
It's clearly up to external forces like NGOs, The Public, and Customers to demand that Apple, as well as all the other manufacturers of products (not just Electronics) we buy "care" about the environment. Given the amount and extent of product-targeted environmental regulation that continues to be foisted upon manufacturers around the world it's quite obvious that this is NOT a natural concern of theirs; in fact, it hasn't been since the dawn of the industrial revolution until quite recently. Go to my website - www.designchainassociates.com/wp.html - I've written extensively about this.
A corporation's primary purpose is to be profitable. Threats to that purpose must be analyzed and, if necessary, addressed. Not meeting customer and market expectations on functional performance or price is clearly detrimental to profit goals: manufacturers have a viceral understanding of that, of course, and focus tightly on it. Increasingly so is product environmental performance, whether it's real or perceived (just like functional performance). Just because EPEAT isn't perfect doesn't mean it's meaningless. Companies make mistakes all the time. Apple's no different. Why would it matter how "celebrated" they are? That's meaningless.
I'm not sure why people think Apple can do no wrong; they're just as fallable as any other human-run institution.
@Michael, because Apple is the most celebrated brand and people have high expectation from Apple. If Apple which earns very high revenues from its products doesnt care about environment then how can we expect other small to care about environment ?
Tirlapur, this is not Apple's first mistake in the environmental performance space. If you will recall several years ago Greenpeace gave Apple extremely low marks because they weren't forthcoming about any of their product or corporate environmental performance features or goals. Apple quickly responded and said "oh no, we're much better than that; Just Look!" And Apple's Environment web page was born.
Another example was in, I think, 2009 when, concurrent with MacWorld in San Francisco they plastered the City with advertisements claiming they had The Greenest Notebook Computers. Well, it turned out they didn't and they were basing the claim on the fact that the products were EPEAT Gold. So were many others. In fact, Dell took Apple to task on this false green claim and won - the ads were gone, never to be seen again.
So Apple undershot the mark; then they overshot it. Here they've clearly undershot it again. Maybe some day they'll get it right.
I'm not sure why people think Apple can do no wrong; they're just as fallable as any other human-run institution. Expectations should be moderated appropriately.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.