Last month, Apple Inc. told the nonprofit EPEAT, short for Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, to remove its products from its registry. It also plans to stop submitting its products to EPEAT for environmental ratings. Now, Apple is reported to rejoin a program to certify its products as environmentally friendly so that its sales figures aren’t affected. The Cupertino company is said to not only rejoin eco-friendly Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) global registry but also admitted that dropping out was a mistake.

Lost the battle, but won the war!

Rejoins environmental registry…

Apple senior vice president Bob Mansfield said that the company listened to “customers who were disappointed” as the company pulled out of environmental ratings. “I recognize that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT,” he added.

Apple's withdrawal from an environmental ratings registry has prompted at least one city – San Francisco – to stop buying its computers. The decision does not apply to iPads or iPhones. But Francis Tsang, spokesman for Mayor Edwin Lee's office, says the city's rules require that laptops, computers and monitors comply with the registry's requirements.

“It's important to know that our commitment to protecting the environment has never changed, and today it is as strong as ever. Apple makes the most environmentally responsible products in our industry. In fact, our engineering teams have worked incredibly hard over the years to make our products even more environmentally friendly, he said.”

Apple made the announcement a day after San Francisco city officials revealed that they would stop purchasing certain Apple products as it would fail to meet the EPEAT standards. The procurement rule is similar to a standard used by other US cities and states as well as by the federal government, according to Walton. EPEAT chief executive Robert Frisbee welcomed Apple's decision. “We look forward to Apple's strong and creative thoughts on ongoing standards development,” he said in a statement.

“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. Our team at Apple is dedicated to designing products that everyone can be proud to own and use, Bob added further.

Although Apple had pulled out of environmental registry, it had a long environmental track record. For example, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has replaced many of the hazardous materials in its gadgets with less harmful and more recyclable ones, and has designed longer-life batteries for its computers, media players and phones. Its recycling program offers gift cards to people who send in their old Apple gadgets for recycling. It had also disclosed plans to power its main U.S. data center entirely with renewable energy by the end of this year, taking steps to address longstanding environmental concerns about the rapid expansion of high-consuming computer server farms. Apple had won two crucial energy related patents that may help them shape the future of their devices.

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