Apple’s withdrawal from green electronics registry will make it difficult for San Francisco employees to buy the company’s products for government work.
San Francisco CIO Jon Walton has left open the possibility that the consolidated city-county government can work something out with Apple.
As reported this week by the CIO Journal, Walton backed the city’s decision to stop buying Apple desktops and laptops after the company removed several products from the EPEAT registry. City employees technically will still be able to buy Apple products, officials said, but procurement will be very difficult.
The federal government, many school districts and universities, and some cities and counties — including San Francisco — limit their purchases to products that adhere to EPEAT, a certification system and “global registry for greener electronics.”
Apple might be withdrawing from EPEAT due to product design choices that make disassembly and recycling more difficult.
Walton tweeted a statement explaining the rationale for San Francisco’s decision. It appears San Francisco is open to conversation:
"The City of San Francisco has had a rule for a number of years that requires that laptops, computer, and monitors meet EPEAT standards. This procurement rule is similar to the standard used by other cities, states, and the Federal Government. Many manufacturers, including Apple historically, have hundreds of products listed on the EPEAT registry that are compliant with this rule. Unfortunately, Apple's decision to have its products removed from the EPEAT registry will make it difficult for city employee's to procure Apple laptop's, monitors, and PC's in the future. San Francisco has reached out to Apple and is hopeful that a solution to this challenge can be found in the future."
Some observers have asserted that San Francisco’s move against Apple is only symbolic, given the city’s IT budget. According to Walton (as reported by The Telegraph), Apple’s products account for approximately $45,000 of the city’s total $200 million IT budget.
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