Greenpeace: Apple Is Less Green Friendly Than Dell, HP and Nokia

Greenpeace: Apple Is Less Green Friendly Than Dell, HP and Nokia

Apple takes pride in making its products environmentally friendly. It has worked to reduce its carbon footprint by keeping its product packaging to a minimum, removing toxic materials from its entire product line, making its devices more energy efficient and lots more.

However, the company isn’t the greenest of tech companies. It ranks fourth in Greenpeace’s “Guide to Greener Electronics,” with HP, Dell, and Nokia leading the way.

15 companies were ranked in the poll, which looks at three areas including energy, greener products, and sustainable operations. Apple ranked fourth out of the 15, up five places from the previous Greenpeace report, with a score of 4.6 out of 10. The Cupertino company was ranked highly for making its devices energy friendly, but ranked poorly for not using recycled plastics.

While Greenpeace does give credit to Apple for the efforts it has made to reduce its carbon footprint, it criticizes the company for not setting targets to reduce emissions, and requests that its greenhouse gas emissions be verified by an external source, according to an AppleInsider report.

Apple also received credit for exceeding its goals in global recycling during 2010, and for ranking first when it comes to policies and practices on sourcing conflict minerals. Greenpeace is also pleased Apple does not use PVC vinyl plastics, or brominated flame retardants.

Apple clearly takes its carbon footprint very seriously. In addition to ranking fourth out of 15 and taking steps to reduce environmental damage, the company has also enjoyed an advertising campaign that boasts about its products being green. They’ve even recently moved to set up a massive solar farm to power their new data server. However, Apple’s eco streak hasn’t always been there.

In August 2006, Greenpeace issued a report condemning Apple for its use of toxic chemicals, and started a “Green My Apple” campaign which saw a number of protests outside Apple retail stores. The campaign encouraged Apple to change its ways and prompted then-CEO Steve Jobs to issue an open letter in May 2007, which outlined Apple’s timetable for eliminating toxic chemicals from the company’s products.

Above Apple in Greenpeace’s latest report are Nokia, Dell, and HP, which scored 4.9, 5.1, and 5.9 respectively. Below the company are Philips with 4.5, Sony Ericsson with 4.2, Samsung with 4.1, and Lenovo with 3.8.

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  • FriarNurgle

    Greenpeace isn’t very green friendly themselves. 

  • Ryszard

    Just remember that Greenpeace rankings are based on press releases, not on what the companies actually do or how well they do it.

  • Daniel Nelms


    was ranked poorly for not using recycled plastics” oh pleaseeeeeeeeeee.   When you make things out of aluminum and glass you don’t really use much plastic.  Or am I missing something?

  • Karras

    “…but was ranked poorly for not using recycled plastics.”

    Does it not count for anything that they do not use so much plastic to begin with?

    Though I suppose another way of looking at it is that in not using more of it, they are not helping to clean up whatever is building up in landfills from people throwing away old Dells and HPs. :P

  • Karras

    Hehe, glad I am not the only one thinking this.

  • Bob Aloo

    Really, who even cares about Greenpeace anymore. They are irrelevant.

  • Stefano

    Not green according to stupid Greenpeace criteria:

    - advocacy (i.e. blubber instead of substance)
    - use of recycled plastic (how much plastic in Apple’s aluminum, steel and glass products?)
    - policies for paper (who has the smallest boxes in the industry?)
    - energy consumption in supply chain (again, who has the smaller boxes in the industry?)

    Stefano

  • gareth edwards

    I wonder how their carbon footprint and ecco-friendlyness would look once you factor in iTunes removing hundreds of millions of CDs from the food-chain? Just sayin’.

  • baby_Twitty

    WTF?? giving a red for “Recycled plastics in products”?? 

    Seriously?!

    Apple hardly use plastics more than their competitors in their products!

     Dumb ass ‘green’ report.

    And don’t these retards know that Apple is ACTUALLY BUILDING one of the biggest solar facilities in U.S. next to their data-farm?

    Greedpeace FAILzzzz

  • baby_Twitty

    WTF?? giving a red for “Recycled plastics in products”?? 

    Seriously?!

    Apple hardly use plastics more than their competitors in their products!

     Dumb ass ‘green’ report.

    And don’t these retards know that Apple is ACTUALLY BUILDING one of the biggest solar facilities in U.S. next to their data-farm?

    Greedpeace FAILzzzz

  • Moofpup

    How has HP got such a high rating their products are loaded with petroleum based plastics?

  • Shaunathan Sprocket

    This article should have shown HP’s score, and talked about how apple could beat their score.  Lack of research…

    Wouldn’t it be a story if all apple had to do was change one thing.

  • nolavabo

    Apple doesn’t play the Greenpeace game. Perhaps they should.

    You can shoot to the top of the list by doing the bare minimum necessary in reality, but issuing a lot of press releases telling everyone what you plan to be doing in the future … one day … eventually.Look how many of the categories are fluffy words like “advocacy”, “plan” or “policy”. You don’t need to be doing those things, just telling people that you are.

  • MarioWario

    Ey don’t pick on greenpeace. Sure many things don’t work with these guys, but there is something good to get a scheme ‘where is some improvement necessary’ – and apple is far from perfect.

    What I would criticize (on my fave company) is longterm design: 

       denies to support older devices (targeted should be 5 years of use with support), 

       cripples devices (too low on RAM at iOS devices (iPad/iPad2/3Gs/4/4s) – missing discreteVGA
       on iMacs – money grabbing HDD-config’s on MB/MBP in the past)

  • Kendall Tawes

    So all Apple needs to do is make up plans they may never follow. Since Apple doesn’t release inner workings too much you can really only compare them on what they currently are doing.

    That said I think Apple took the threat from Greenpeace before seriously and it actually worked out pushing Apple further forward. So even though the tactics Greenpeace is participating in isn’t exactly fair to Apple I don’t mind it if it pushes Apple further forward.

  • Teku

    This is garbage, pun intended. The areas Apple scored zero in: 

    Policy advocacy – Apple leads by example. Other companies run some fancy ads and secretly dispatch their lobbyists to Washington. 

    Use of Recycled Plastic – Even recycled plastic is plastic, and it sucks for the environment. Apple uses much more recyclable materials in their products. 

    Paper – Another nonsense metric, but even so Apple should score high for bringing the iPad to market and eliminating millions of tons of paper use the world over! 

    Greenpeace is full of crap, which is why they are down at OWS right now trying to convert the whole thing into more donations for themselves. I will give them credit though, attacking Apple gets them press, and they need it since they are a administration heavy bloated cash pig of an organization. 

  • Figurative

    Greenpeace is an irrelevant organization that plays fast-and-loose with the facts in order to gain PR points.  They cannot be trusted and engage in dishonest tactics.

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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