Greenpeace speaks: We want more from Apple

Summary:Follow the bouncing Green Apple. Apple CEO Steve Jobs pens a blog noting that the company is green and getting greener.

Follow the bouncing Green Apple. Apple CEO Steve Jobs pens a blog noting that the company is green and getting greener. He then throws rivals under the Prius.

Now Greenpeace, which goes unnamed in Jobs' post, responds. As outlined by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes Greenpeace applauds Apple, but still has issues. Greenpeace says:

It's not everything we asked for.  Apple has declared a phase out of the worst chemicals in its product range, Brominated Fire Retardants (BFRs) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) by 2008. That beats Dell and other computer manufactures' pledge to phase them out by 2009. Way to go Steve!

But while customers in the US will be able to return their Apple products for recycling knowing that their gear won't end up in the e-waste mountains of Asia and India, Apple isn't making that promise to anyone but customers in the USA.  Elsewhere in the world, an Apple product today can still be tomorrow's e-waste. Other manufacturers offer worldwide takeback and recycling. Apple should too!

Apple hasn't gotten an actual green product to market, but no other electronics manufacture has either.  That's a race worthy of the wizards of Cupertino.

Greenpeace says Apple has to address workers in developing nations and be "green to the core."

Just as an aside, this sounds a lot like the campaign against Nike and sweatshops a few years ago. You pick the big dog and prod them into action. Apple is the most high profile company in the PC industry. Is Apple caving to the green crowd (or at least being pushed around)?

The Greenpeace memo also hints at why Jobs didn't call the organization out by name in his post--Apple customers are apparently cheering the environmental group on. Perhaps that explains Jobs tone in the post and how he was pointing out rivals aren't any better. Better to pick a fight with rivals than your own customers. If Jobs looks hostile to Greenpeace he may also turn on his own customers. 

Topics: Apple


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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