Dirty Apple Turns Over A New Green Leaf


Heavily criticised for the toxic substances in its PC manufacturing, Apple has announced a major new ‘green’ push

Apple has launched a green marketing program aimed to counter criticism from Greenpeace and other environmentalists, over the use of toxic substances in its PC manufacture.

The computer maker had been singled out for floundering at the bottom of the environmental group’s green electronics rankings since 2007, until it said recently that it had done more than other PC manufacturer to eliminate vinyl plastic (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from its products.

And now, Apple itself has taken up the green marketing push with today’s launch of an environmental marketing programme. In it, for the first time, it reveals its annual corporate emissions, claiming “to add up all our greenhouse gas emissions and tell you how they are distributed across — and beyond — a product’s lifespan,” it said on its environmental website.


In publishing new Product Environmental Reports, it said it would help educate customers about the environmental footprint of Apple products, while also tracking progress toward the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions with each new product.

In a statement, Jobs added: “We decided to measure the emissions produced at each stage of a product’s life cycle, from production and transportation to consumer use and eventual recycling. Starting today, Apple will report this information for each new product we introduce, so our customers will better understand the progress we’re making.”

Apple was quick to claim its eye-popping 10.2 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually was a true reflection of, not only its own operations, but the use of its products by consumers, which accounted for 53 percent of that total.

By contrast the likes of HP and Dell, who Greenpeace have criticised for failing to keep to promised reductions in PVC and BFR use, have claimed that their carbon emissions at 8.4 million tons and 471,000 tons respectively.

“A lot of companies publish how green their building is, but it doesn’t matter if you’re shipping millions of power-hungry products with toxic chemicals in them,” Steve Jobs, Apple chief executive told BusinessWeek in an interview. “It’s like asking a cigarette company how green their office is.”

When Apple shipped its iPhone 3GS earlier this year, it said it was free of BFRs, PVC, arsenic, and mercury and includes a power adapter that “outperforms the strictest global energy efficiency standards”.

It has yet to be seen if this disclosure will affect the company share price, as it was trading on the Nasdaq at 0.02 percent down on its closing price of $183.13 (£114.35) per share yesterday.