Apple posted a statement to their hot news Web site yesterday responding to vocal environmental critics Greenpeace, Inc.
In A Greener Apple, Steve Jobs provides an update on the state of Apple's environmental record, identifying "how far along Apple actually is in removing toxic chemicals from its products and recycling its older products." Jobs notes that "upon investigating Apple's current practices and progress towards these goals, I was surprised to learn that in many cases Apple is ahead of, or will soon be ahead of, most of its competitors in these areas. Whatever other improvements we need to make, it is certainly clear that we have failed to communicate the things that we are doing well."
In the statement signed by Steve Jobs the company details their progress in eliminating several toxins from their product line, including Lead, Cadmium, Hexavalent, Chromium, Decabromodiphenyl, Ether, Arsenic, Mercury, Polyvinyl Chloride and Brominated flame retardants.
Another interesting note that as part of divulging their green plans, Apple also divulged a technology advancement currently in development – LED backlight technology.
Backlit LEDs provide higher brightness, significantly larger color gamut (greater than NTSC and EBU) – expanding the range of reproducible hues by as much as 45 percent, lower voltage and emissions. LED backlighting technology is currently integrated in Sony's 40" and 46" QUALIA series televisions. The technology, also called "Lumileds," is also known to reduce motion artifacts without a brightness or lifetime penalty.
Notice that he said "our first Macs?" (as opposed to displays). That means that we'll be seeing LED iMacs or notebooks by December 31, 2007, folks.
To eliminate mercury in our displays, we need to transition from fluorescent lamps to light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to illuminate the displays. Fortunately, all iPod displays already use LEDs for illumination, and therefore contain no mercury. We plan to introduce our first Macs with LED backlight technology in 2007. Our ability to completely eliminate fluorescent lamps in all of our displays depends on how fast the LCD industry can transition to LED backlighting for larger displays.