Greenpeace Rates Apple 4th Worst Eco-Friendly Tech Business, Apple Responds

Does Greenpeace's rating of Apple concern you?

  • Yes, enough for me to change my buying habits.

    Votes: 50 11.5%
  • Yes, but not enough for me to change my buying habits.

    Votes: 152 35.1%
  • No

    Votes: 231 53.3%

  • Total voters
    433

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
46,769
8,955


Late last week, environmental watchdog Greenpeace released their Guide to Greener Electronics (pdf) which rates how eco-friendly different tech companies are based on publicly available information. Apple scored 4th lowest, beating only Leveno, Motorola, and Acer. Among the top-scorers were Nokia and Dell.

For a company that claims to lead on product design, Apple scores badly on almost all criteria. The company fails to embrace the precautionary principle, withholds its full list of regulated substances and provides no timelines for eliminating toxic polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and no commitment to phasing out all uses of brominated flame retardants (BFRs). Apple performs poorly on product take back and recycling, with the exception of reporting on the amounts of its electronic waste recycled.
News.com has received a statement from Apple responding to the Greenpeace claims.

Apple has a strong environmental track record and has led the industry in restricting and banning toxic substances such as mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium, as well as many BFRs. We have also completely eliminated CRT monitors, which contain lead, from our product line.
Apple does note that their LCD monitors do contain small amounts of mercury, which they are working to find a suitable alternative for. Apple began an expanded computer recycling program in April 2006. Apple has had an iPod recycling program in the US since 2005.

Apple's annual shareholder meetings have seen frequent protests from environmental groups (2005, 2006).
 

Fredo Viola

macrumors member
Mar 27, 2003
75
0
:(

This is a real bummer to me. I pride myself on making as little an impact on the environment as I can, but make my living using computers to make music... and I use all Apple products... so I'm feeling really guilty about this right now.
 

dextertangocci

macrumors 68000
Apr 2, 2006
1,767
1
How can Apple be 4th lowest:eek:

At least their products are good quality, unlike Dell's crappy computers.

BTW, Apple was 4th lowest out of how many?
 
L

Lau

Guest
It's a tough one. I'd like to think that we could vote with our wallets over something like this, but unfortunately I need a computer, and there's no way I'm not using OSX.

I'd like to think we could still complain about it, but "Apple's annual shareholder meetings have seen frequent protests from environmental groups" makes me think that they don't really give a toss, which is bad, mmkay.

I don't really see why if Dell can do it, Apple can't.
 

geerlingguy

macrumors 6502a
Feb 11, 2003
561
6
St. Louis, USA
Apple's Doing Pretty Well, IMHO

I think Apple's done a pretty good job, at least from a non-insider perspective. And the fact that they are exteremely open and friendly sharing their environmental information is something to consider as well. It is not always easy for the public to find out about a particular company's information from their website.

Obviously, though, Apple is a corporation, and, like most others, they will many times sacrifice environmental standards to save costs. All major companies (at least in the U.S.) do it—no matter how 'hip' or 'environment-friendly' they may seem. It's an outcome of consumerism.
 

iMikeT

macrumors 68020
Jul 8, 2006
2,304
1
California
Why do these "tree-huggers" have to interfere with business?

Apple does what they can to have more "enviornmentally-friendly" ways of processing their products. But 4th worst?
 

Tymmz

macrumors 65816
Jan 6, 2005
1,439
180
That's weird.


A couple years ago the number one german ECO-magazine "Öko Test" put the iBook at the pole position of (non-) toxic laptops.

They compared the materials and the exhaust fumes.

I'm not 100% sure, but I think I remember that fact correctly.
 

ArizonaKid

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2005
108
20
Arizona
Tragedy of the Commons

blueflame said:
Boo hoo. its a business, waht do they realistically expect?
Organizations are responsible for the impact they have on community resources that impact everyone. Apple is going to have bad news sometimes, so accept it.
 

DeepDish

macrumors newbie
Jan 5, 2002
26
0
I trust Apple more then Greenpeace

How do we know this Greenpeace report is accurate?

Sometimes activist organizations will target big name companies just to get more attention.

Apple is more green than dell. period.

Makes me question the whole report if greenpeace thinks dell is more green then apple.

bunch of hewwie
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,186
blueflame said:
Boo hoo. its a business, waht do they realistically expect?
They expect them to do better--at least as well as other companies do, and ultimately better than that.

And we should thank Greenpeace et al for putting this kind of pressure on companies: it helps all of us. These are serious issues, and they are issues that CAN be solved without companies ceasing to do business ;)

I'm glad for what Apple has done so far, and I'm glad people are pushing them to do more.

The "never criticize a business, their profit matters more than anything in the world" attitude is a little extreme if you stop to think about it. By that logic, we should accept products without warranties, toys that shatter into sharp pieces, batteries that catch fire, poisons in foods, slave labor, pollution... ANYTHING so long as it is in some corporations interest.

But corporations aren't the only thing that matters (despite their hold on certain governing bodies ;) ).
 

iMikeT

macrumors 68020
Jul 8, 2006
2,304
1
California
Lau said:
It's a tough one. I'd like to think that we could vote with our wallets over something like this, but unfortunately I need a computer, and there's no way I'm not using OSX.

I'd like to think we could still complain about it, but "Apple's annual shareholder meetings have seen frequent protests from environmental groups" makes me think that they don't really give a toss, which is bad, mmkay.

I don't really see why if Dell can do it, Apple can't.


Did I read that correctly?
 
L

Lau

Guest
DeepDish said:
Apple is more green than dell. period.

Makes me question the whole report if greenpeace thinks dell is more green then apple.
Do you have evidence of this just out of interest? I too was surprised to read this, so I'd be interested if you had evidence the other way.

Edit:

iMikeT said:
Did I read that correctly?
Sorry, I may not have been clear. I meant it as in I would much prefer to use OSX over Windows or Linux, and so would find it difficult to choose, say, a Dell because it ran Windows and I would find that unpleasant, even if Dell had a better environmental record.
 

DeepDish

macrumors newbie
Jan 5, 2002
26
0
Lau said:
Do you have evidence of this just out of interest? I too was surprised to read this, so I'd be interested if you had evidence the other way.

zero evidence, other than my gut feeling.

But come on, Dell more green than Apple? Something is not right here.
 

Tymmz

macrumors 65816
Jan 6, 2005
1,439
180
iMikeT said:
Why do these "tree-huggers" have to interfere with business?

Apples does what they can to have more "enviornmentally-friendly" ways of processing their products. But 4th worst?
?tree-huggers? ?interfere with business? !we don't want to start that discussion!


Do you have proof for your statement, that Apple is doing their best?
 

brepublican

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2005
812
0
NY
blueflame said:
Boo hoo. its a business, waht do they realistically expect?
Yeah its a business. But you gotta give back to the community. Whats the point in reaping huge profits off consumers then destroying the earth? It's not that drammatic, but if every company were like Apple, it'd definitely not bode well for the environment :mad:
 

ArizonaKid

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2005
108
20
Arizona
Capitalism and Eco-Friendship

iMikeT said:
Why do these "tree-huggers" have to interfere with business?

Apple does what they can to have more "enviornmentally-friendly" ways of processing their products. But 4th worst?
As a business professional, there most certainly is a capitalistic argument for environmentally friendly businesses.

I will provide the link this time:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons


This is something Apple can improve. So why not go for it?
 

iMikeT

macrumors 68020
Jul 8, 2006
2,304
1
California
Tymmz said:
?tree-huggers? ?interfere with business? !we don't want to start that discussion!


Do you have proof for your statement, that Apple is doing their best?


Apple has released a statement regarding the findings and it is just as realiable as Greenpeace's.

Besides, I said that Apple is doing what they can.
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,369
This should be a Page 2 story at best. Let's be clear about what this bit of propaganda is... We know Greenpeace is anti-technology, anti-capitalism. They know Apple is not only a huge success story, but also has a big presence in consumer's minds. Everyone knows Apple and iPods. Clearly Greenpeace, like the iPod labor camp story before it, is USING Apple to forward their own agenda of killing technology and thwarting capitalism and innovation.
 

danielwsmithee

macrumors 65816
Mar 12, 2005
1,118
397
Lau said:
Do you have evidence of this just out of interest? I too was surprised to read this, so I'd be interested if you had evidence the other way.
I wonder if they mentioned the fact that Dell has made the computer a disposable purchase with their $299 PCs. I'm serious people buy a new Dell every few years because they are garbage. Do you honestly think people give them back for recycling. They sell them on ebay or craigslist, and the new owner after about a year puts them in the dumpster. With Apple people keep their machines much longer, and are much more likely to recycle them because they are smaller and easier to take to a recycling center (no CRT). This alone makes Apple greener then Dell.
 
L

Lau

Guest
DeepDish said:
zero evidence, other than my gut feeling.

But come on, Dell more green than Apple? Something is not right here.
Hmm. Gut feeling's all very well, but Apple obviously do a great job of marketing themselves as a friendly green company and we may go round believing that without evidence, and it looks as if the figures don't back them up.

danielwsmithee said:
I wonder if they mentioned the fact that Dell has made the computer a disposable purchase with their $299 PCs.
That's a good point, actually, it's much better to make a long-lasting product than a crappy one that's recycled when it breaks. It's a shame that iPods are effectively disposable though. To be able to replace the battery in particular, and possibly the hard drive, would make it a much more longer lasting product.