San Francisco city government may ban Apple

San Francisco may look to ban the purchase of Apple computers due to their lack of greenness.

Having an energy saving computer may not be a big deal for everyone, but green computing is certainly important for the city of San Francisco.

According to The Guardian, San Francisco officials are a bit salty – and not just from the sea air blowing off the Bay. The city government was upset by news that Apple dropped out of a green certification program called the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool in June. Even though this may only be symbolic, as the news source points out the city spent less than $50,000 on Apple products in 2010, it may ban Apple computers from being purchased for city offices.

“We are disappointed that Apple chose to withdraw from EPEAT, and we hope that the city saying it will not buy Apple products will make Apple reconsider its participation,” Melanie Nutter, director of San Francisco’s Department of Environment, said.

Apple responded by saying that the company takes a comprehensive approach to measuring its environmental impact, and makes sure all its products get an Energy Star rating of 5.2. The company spokesman also said Apple reports its greenhouse gas emissions on its website and believes its products surpass EPEAT standards.

As for why Apple opted out of EPEAT, it likely has to do with the way its computers are designed. The San Francisco Chronicle’s blog said the battery is glued into the new MacBook Pro, for example. This helps make the product very light and thin, but also makes it more difficult to recycle.

Despite Apple’s arguments regarding its green practices, it will be a blow against the California-based company if the tech-savvy city of San Francisco – close to Silicon Valley and home to many computer companies – makes this move.

EPEAT officials chimed in on this, saying that they want to connect purchasers with environmentally sound choices.

“For participating electronics manufacturers, EPEAT is a chance to showcase and validate their greener design initiatives, cleaner production and customer support services,” EPEAT said on its website. “But EPEAT is more than simply a product rating – it is also a community effort by all interested stakeholders to define and maintain best practice in environmental sustainability for electronics. We regret that Apple will no longer be registering its products in EPEAT.  We hope that they will decide to do so again at some point in future.”

What do you think of Apple being considered less than green by San Francisco? Are you still interested in Apple products, or would you choose a different company based on this news? Let us know!

UPDATE

According to the Marketplace Tech Report, Apple is working on a refresh of environmental standards. Check back soon for more on this story.

Kate Beckham

Kate has been lighting up the blogosphere for over 5 years, with a keen interest in social media and new malware threats. When not sitting at a café behind her Mac, you’ll usually find her scouring the racks for vintage finds or playing guitar.