Apple let its good standing on green products fall far from the tree last week, telling a review board they'd no longer submit its wares for review. A week later they reversed that decision via an open letter on Apple.com.
The products were submitted to Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) who put a seal of environmental approval on the iPads and such. Then Apple said it wasn't going to be seeking that approval.
After receiving several letters from customers expressing concern over this, the company is sending an open letter to those customers. The most recent EPEAT list does include the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
The letter from Sr. Vice President of Hardware Engineering explains that Apple, itself, has high environmental standards but that its innovative productions may not fit the present testing rubrik.
We think the IEEE 1680.1 standard could be a much stronger force for protecting the environment if it were upgraded to include advancements like these. This standard, on which the EPEAT rating system is based, is an important measuring stick for our industry and its products.
Our relationship with EPEAT has become stronger as a result of this experience, and we look forward to working with EPEAT as their rating system and the underlying IEEE 1680.1 standard evolve.
Short of an apology, it does seem like a mishandling of a sensitive topic. Not something that happens often at Apple.