Apple earns EPEAT Gold with new MacBooks

Apple shows leadership in reducing environmental impact of its new MacBook line

InfoWorld's Chief Technologist Tom Yager has plenty to say about the changes to the Apple MacBook family. However, he skipped one important point, in my view: Apple has made admirable strides toward greening the systems.

The MacBooks have achieved EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) Gold, which is no simple task. It means that the machines far surpass the requirements of Energy Star 4.0 and the European Union's RoHS (Restriction on Hazardous Substances) directive. The systems contain no brominated flame retardants, use only PVC-free internal cables and components, and use energy efficient LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass.

Moreover, the systems have a modular design for easier upgrading and disassembly. A minimum of 90 percent of the machines' components are reusable or recyclable -- even the product packaging is 90 percent recyclable.

Also to Apple's credit: The company didn't rack up what I consider a bogus EPEAT point by claiming to have a viable renewable energy accessory available for their machines. Some vendors gain a point here by supporting a $1,200 85.5-pound solar generator/panel package, the Solar PowerPac II, offered by a partner company called Advanced Energy Group.

Good job, Apple.