City of SF won’t buy Macs without EPEAT certification


We sort of knew this was coming. Just days after news hit that Apple no longer wants its computers and monitors evaluated for EPEAT certification, the first public agency has said it will no longer be allowed to buy Macs as a result.

The City of San Francisco is (unsurprisingly) first up, according to the Wall Street Journal:

Officials with the San Francisco Department of Environment told CIO Journal on Monday they would send out letters over the next two weeks, informing all 50 of the city’s agencies that Apple laptops and desktops “will no longer qualify” for purchase with city funds.

It doesn’t mean future purchases will be totally impossible: the city does have a waiver application if someone really wants a Mac in the future, though the process is described as “long and onerous.” However, Apple will barely notice those missing sales: Less than 2 percent of San Francisco city computers are Macs, according to the report.

Apple already had 39 of its computers and monitors certified by the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, a standards group funded by the EPA, when it asked the group to drop its products from its rankings last month. The reason? Apple’s design priorities. Thinner and lighter devices will presumably no longer meet the standards requiring easy disassembly and recycling of its parts.

It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that many public agencies — which are often required to take a detailed look at product labels and buy EPEAT-certified electronics — would be out of luck when it comes to purchasing new Macs. Some large corporations and possibly even schools follow the same policies. But, as I wrote yesterday, it’s less certain if individual consumers will have the same concerns.


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