The New Macbook Is Apple's Greenest Yet


Today Apple (s AAPL) unveiled its newest line of MacBook notebooks, and in addition to being the fastest and glassiest notebook yet, it’s Apple’s greenest computer ever.

The entire line of MacBooks now meets Energy Star 4.0, EPEAT Gold and RoHS environmental standards. The new MacBooks also got high green ratings for the things that were left out — the internal components are all PVC- and BFR-free, and the glass display is mercury- and arsenic-free. That non-toxic glass covers a new LED display which uses 30 percent less power than standard displays, according to Apple.

Historically, Apple hasn’t had the greenest reputation. Greenpeace has been on the computer maker’s case for years, demanding that the company offer more transparency and firm timelines for improving its manufacturing, product design and recycling. Since Jobs penned his A Greener Apple essay, the Apple CEO has taken time during his keynotes to address the new and improved environmental features Apple keeps rolling out. “They’ve been making incremental progress all along, but its very exciting to see all these Gold products qualify all at once,” Sarah O’Brien of EPEAT told us.

The new family of MacBooks come with an environmental status report that breaks down the carbon footprint of the MacBook’s life, the energy consumption of the laptop and even the stats on the retail packaging. (Jobs said in the keynote today that the company’s even shrunk the packaging of the laptops by 37 percent, saving on materials and allowing them to ship more units per pallet, saving on transportation costs.)

However, as a devoted Mac user in a Mac-dominated company I still wish Apple would raise the bar even higher. From the company that prides itself on its ability to lead and innovate in an industry of copycats, I expect more. I expect Apple to blow its competition out of the water when it comes to environmental standards and transparency, in the same way its blown the competition out of the water in product design and user interface.

Graphics courtesy of Apple.



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Ivan Storck

This is a great review. I own a MacBook 15″ and am glad they are making progress.

If you post this review on, the US’s largest database of green product reviews, you’ll be adding to the power of your blog to help others make green product choices. I invite you to join the community there and post this review.


Green gets done by doers. A certain level of nudging by activists is useful though not always required.

I find Greenpeace to be sectarian and like most political bodies in that bag – as convinced of patting themselves on the back by harassing potential allies rather than confronting serious enemies.

They deserve little credit for changes at Apple.

A. I think other environmental organizations and forums provided reasonable push to what changes in pace resulted at Apple.

B. That’s what we’ve witnessed – at Apple – a modicum of change of pace. Positive, deserving of applause. I don’t think Greenpeace deserves credit for sweat.

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