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Is Apple’s Environmental Concern Improving?

Guest Blog by Reese Jones

With the declining progress of environment in today’s world, many movements enter the scene to prevent it. Manufacturers begin to use eco-friendly materials to produce products that will help save the environment. However, recurring reports are against Apple’s “contribution” to the ecosystem.

In the past few years, Apple has been faced with issues regarding the use of toxic chemicals (Lead, Cadmium, Arsenic, Mercury, and Brominated Flame Retardants) in producing their products. In turn, the late CEO Steve Jobs made a commitment to be more forthcoming about its programs and policies in the future. However, is it bearing fruit?

Although they received some “cautious” praise from China about the latter’s attempt to level the playing field with regards to environmental concerns. It may have been a major step for Apple. However, they still have to make drastic measures in order to redeem itself from previous transgressions against the environment.

Matters took a turn for the worse when they fell rock bottom being named as the ‘least green’ tech company. According to a report from Greenpeace, Apple’s North Carolina facility will triple their electricity consumptions for more production and income. The electricity demand was equal to 80,000 average US homes. This may have resulted to Apple having a large boost in their quarterly earnings. However, with the facility being powered with energy in a form of 62% of coal and 32% nuclear, fatal damages to the environment were to be expected.

Is design and income more important than the safety and progress of the environment?

According to a report by CNN last July, Apple decided to add fuel on the fire when they dropped green EPEAT (Electronic Product Energy Assessment Tool) label from their products. “They said their design direction was no longer consistent with the EPEAT requirements,” said EPEAT CEO Robert Frisbee. Apparently, Apple withdrawing their entire line of products from the label damaged their own reputation, ranking behind HP and Dell in terms of environmental friendliness.

In a few days after, CNN reported that Apple has called back the decision to abandon the certification label, calling it a “mistake.” With loyal Apple customers disappointed with the abandonment of the label, the company thought about more losses and decided to bring it back instead.

Loyal customers prefer a company that supports a clean environment, and Apple made a wise choice to get the certification back. To add, Greenpeace also applauded Apple’s decision, but states that the latter still needs to show proof that their materials are recyclable.
A letter from Bob Mansfield, Apple’s Senior VP of Hardware Engineering was released stating that the entire line of Apple products will be back on the EPEAT rating system, thus strengthening their bond with EPEAT and the environment itself.

Sadly, in the 18th edition of Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics, Apple has dropped to 6th Position, stating they are still lacking transparency on Greenhouse emission reporting and clean energy transparency. Apple could have done better with if they’re committed in their reformed act. However, if these are the results, what can we now expect from them?

About the Author

Reese Jones is a tech and gadget lover, a die-hard fan of iOS and console games. She started her writing venture recently and writes about everything from quick tech tips, to mobile-specific news from the likes of O2, to tech-related DIY.

About Kevin

Kevin is both an environmentalist and a tech guy and has been writing, editing and publishing this blog since 2007. He answers questions related to how you can use tech to go greener.

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