Apple has made an abrupt u-turn on plans to remove its products from an environmental ratings system, following stinging criticism from eco-campaigners.
Apple said that it would continue to submit and list its products on the EPEAT environmental ratings programme. The EPEAT issues green technology ratings for electronics goods, based on standards such as environmentally hazardous materials exclusion and use of recyclable components.
Apple faced a barrage of criticism after it decided that to remove its products from the registry. The decision prompted outcry from the public, including a threat of boycott of Apple products by the city of San Francisco.
"We've recently heard from many loyal Apple customers who were disappointed to learn that we had removed our products from the EPEAT rating system," Apple senior vice president of hardware engineering Bob Mansfield said in a letter to customers.
"I recognise that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT."
Apple has developed a contentious relationship with environmental groups, who often call on the company to take a more aggressive role in leading the green technology movement.
While the company maintains that it is taking an aggressive role in making its products more energy efficient and recyclable, groups such as Greenpeace have pressured the company on areas such as hardware design and the use of energy efficient datacentre facilities.
"We applaud Apple for 'thinking green, not greedy' and listening to its customers' calls not to pit design needs against the environment," Greenpeace International IT analyst Casey Harrell told V3.
"A large and growing number Apple customers have challenged the company to be an environmental leader, whether that be by rejoining EPEAT, eliminating toxic chemicals from its products, or powering its iCloud with renewable energy."
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