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San Francisco government to stop buying Apple products after company drops 'green' certification (update)

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The City of San Francisco has said it will no longer use public funds to buy Apple products after the company removed its products from the EPEAT 'green' certification program.

imac mid 2011 review hero
imac mid 2011 review hero

Apple's decision to pull its products from the EPEAT 'green' certification registry is having repercussions in at least one city. After hearing that the company would no longer certify its products as environmentally friendly using EPEAT, San Francisco's Department of Environment told CIO Journal that the city would not purchase any more Apple computers. The Department says a 2007 policy only allows agencies to buy EPEAT-certified computers and monitors with public funds, and the city's Chief Information Officer — who manages purchases — is backing the decision. Although it will be possible for individual agencies to get a waiver, the CIO says "it’s going to be very problematic to procure Apple products."

Department of Environment director Melanie Nutter says she hopes "the city saying it will not buy Apple products will make Apple reconsider its participation" in EPEAT. Some universities have also told CIO Journal they are now reconsidering their Apple purchases. Even so, it's unlikely Apple will go back, especially since its latest compact designs are at odds with EPEAT's requirements for recyclable, upgradeable machines. So far, Apple has not replied to our request for comment.

Update: Apple has given us the following statement:

Apple takes a comprehensive approach to measuring our environmental impact and all of our products meet the strictest energy efficiency standards backed by the US government, Energy Star 5.2. We also lead the industry by reporting each product's greenhouse gas emissions on our website, and Apple products are superior in other important environmental areas not measured by EPEAT, such as removal of toxic materials.