Apple pledges green glasnost
But eco-activists still not satisfied
Apple has pledged to be more open about the steps it's taking to become more environmentally responsible. But despite the company's claim to be greener than the likes of Dell, HP and Lenovo, its eco nemesis, Greenpeace, wasn't entirely satisfied with the move.
Admitting that Apple hasn't done enough to let its stakeholders know about its eco strategy, CEO Steve Jobs, in an open letter to employees, customers, shareholders and activists, said the company would now be more open about such matters in future.
As a taster, Jobs provided a list of all the noxious chemicals the company has already eliminated from its products - in some cases in advance of legislation - and provided a timetable for the removal of toxic substances the company has yet to rid its products of.
So polyvinyl chloride, brominated flame retardants, arsenic will be out by the end of 2008. Lead is already out, a victim of Apple's move to remove CRTs from its monitor line-up. Cadmium, hexavalent chromium and decabromodiphenyl ether went out when Apple products met the standards set down by Europe's Reduction of Hazardous Substance (RoHS) regulations, which came into force in July 2006. The limits determine the make-up of all Apple's products, Jobs claimed, not just those destined to be sold in Europe.
All good stuff, Greenpeace said soon after Jobs' missive was published. But it took the Mac maker to task over its US-centric recycling policy: Apple will take back kit in the States, it noted, but hasn't pledged to do the same elsewhere.
Greenpeace has in the past particularly singled out Apple as a computer company with weak eco credentials, largely because of the Mac maker's non-corporate image - even though the company's products are no worse than any of its less cool rivals.
Here we go again: Jobs walks on water and the three wise Mac-buying monkeys will neither hear, see nor speak any evil about the 'non-corporate' Apple Inc.
What a load of tosh, Apple is a big corporation who's goal is profit like any other. Quite right that Greenpeace should target them as they are a self-professed 'holier than thou' leading light of the PC industry.
Oh and as for the lifetime of PCs compared to Macs I have lost count of the number of old PIIIs I have recycled/refurbished running XP or Linux for people who can't afford to buy one. And if any of the hardware in them fails standard replacement components are readily available.
Does that mean I can run Vista on a five year old PC? Don't mind me, it's just sour grapes.
But I would like to know if they are serving those green apples with a tawny port, oh some biscuits and a Stilton would be nice.
If you read the entire article on Apple's site, some environmental watchdog has come up with a totally bogus formula to figure out the recycling percentage for PC's. The formula assumes a 7 year cycle for PC replacement. . . 7 years? I know people, ordinary people, old people, who are on their fourth Wintel box in as much time. While my grandfather is still using his CRT iMac that runs at a paltry 600MHz. Thing is, Windows boxes and their manufacturers, have convinced Joe Consumer that they are disposable, and they are treated as such. Most Macs, on the other hand, are likely either in the possession of their original owner, donated, or recycled. Once Apple's recycling plan ramps up, I don' see Windows PC's ever being recycled with the same frequency as Apple machine, not only because they are designed to be disposable, like a polystyrene coffee cup, but also because Mac users tend to err on the side of affluency, environmental awareness, and intelligence.
Today we saw something we've all been waiting for: the words "A Greener Apple" on the front page of Apple's site, with a message from Steve Jobs saying "Today we're changing our policy."
According to the Steve the policy that is changing is
"It is generally not Apple’s policy to trumpet our plans for the future; we tend to talk about the things we have just accomplished."
Trying to be greener is a policy that stays the same. It's bragging about it, like HP, Dell and such that's changing.
Is Greenpeace being dishonest, or am I just biased.
Personally I like my apples to be red and juicy but green will do.
I do have a serious point about Apples, they tend to last longer than your average PC and your average Mac user will hold on to older machines for longer. I currently use a G4 Powerbook and G4 PowerPC but I do still have my old PowerPC 6500 which is for my young daughters. It runs at a staggering 333mhz and is perfectly adequate.
Surely the longer shelf-life of its products has to count towards Apple's green credentials?