Moral Low Ground


San Francisco Boycotts Apple Computers

Apple Store, downtown San Francisco (Photo: Apple)

Protesting Apple’s withdrawal from an environmental ratings agency, the city of San Francisco has announced a boycott of the company’s computers.

The Huffington Post reports that the boycott does not include iPads or iPhones, but the City by the Bay, known for its progressive politics and activist streak as wide as the Golden Gate, will not be buying any Apple computers anytime soon.

Last month, Apple informed the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) that it wanted its products removed from their registry, which the nonprofit organization bills as “a comprehensive environmental rating that helps identify greener computers and other electronic equipment.” Apple also said it would stop submitting its products to EPEAT for environmental rating.

“We are disappointed that Apple chose to withdraw from EPEAT,” San Francisco Environment Department Director Melanie Nutter told SF Weekly. “And we hope that the city saying it will not buy Apple products will make Apple reconsider its participation.”

Other tech companies that submit products for EPEAT testing include Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Samsung and Sony.

The Cupertino, California-based company has defended its environmental record, claiming it is mindful of its impact in all phases of design, production and sales. Apple has replaced many of the harmful materials in its products with less dangerous and more recyclable ones and has developed longer-lasting batteries for its gadgets. The company also offers gift cards as an incentive to people who send in their old Apple products to be recycled.

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