Apple Gets the Lead Out

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green appleThis morning, in a lengthy blog-like post to the company’s Hot News page, Apple CEO Steve Jobs takes on Greenpeace and other organizations who claim the computer and consumer electronics company isn’t doing its part to protect the environment. The piece, “A Greener Apple”, says “It is certainly clear that we have failed to communicate the things that we are doing well,” even as others lambasted the company for its environmental track record.

Apple says the company is working hard to remove toxic chemicals from new products, and more aggressively recycle old products. One of the most prominent examples of this was the company’s elimination of CRT monitors from its lineup in mid-2006. While Dell, HP and others continue to ship CRT monitors, which can contain upwards of 3 pounds of lead apiece, LCD displays have almost none. For example, the original Bondi Blue iMacs had 484 grams of lead, and the newest LCD iMacs contain less than 1 gram each. Additionally, all of Apple’s products are RoHS compliant, and have been since mid-2005.

In addition to making the products better for the environment when produced, Apple is doing its part on the back end too, says Jobs. The company recycled 13 million pounds in 2006. By 2010, this number is anticipated to grow to 19 million pounds.

The tone of the piece is very open, something not usually seen from Apple. Steve adds at the end of his summary, “Today is the first time we have openly discussed our plans to become a greener Apple. It will not be the last. We will be providing updates of our efforts and accomplishments at least annually,” and “We apologize for leaving you in the dark for this long.”

If the piece is anything like Steve’s “Thoughts on Music”, it should open up a mountain of discussion in the industry. The last “blog post” ended up in record companies doing away with DRM on some of their offerings. Who knows what this post will bring.

6 Comments

Kendall Tawes

Yeah just to point out but I still have and use a PowerBook 165c because of it’s novelty but oddly enough it’s still useful. I can even watch movies in Quicktime and use Shockwave durring my web browsing. Though OS X still kicks classics arse.

Ben

Plus, I would think the amount of Apple products in landfills is significantly less than other companies, due to Apple’s lasting artistic value beyond function. (Read, people keep their old Apple computers because they look nice and have sentimental value.)

Martin

here is how Greenpeace reacted:

We are cheering! Steve has decided to bring us closer to the greener apple that Mac users all over the world have been asking for.

Apple’s new commitment to environmental transparency and the phase out of the worst chemicals in its product range are genuine steps forward. We look forward to Apple going further to green their existing products range, to get non-toxic products on the market, and to announce a worldwide take-back and responsible reuse/recycling policies. We will continue to work with Apple users to ask Apple to do just that.

We have seen the enthusiasm with which Apple fans have greeted this campaign, and they have made clear what they want– an Apple which is not just green skin-deep, but green to the core. Greenpeace is asking that Apple make products free from the most hazardous chemicals that they can buy and return with a clear conscience, secure in the knowledge that Apple will reuse or recycle them responsibly, and that won’t end up in scrap yards or add to the mountains of e-waste that the electronics industry has created. Apple must begin to address these growing problems to ensure that the workers and children of Asia and many developing nations no longer face the unnecessary environmental and health dangers posed by the high-tech industry’s waste.

Our work is not over until Apple users get that. We look forward to working with the new, greener Apple in future – toward the greening of the entire electronics industry.

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/news/tasty-apple-news-02050

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