Write it off as a smokescreen to cover sliding profit and margins if you want, but Tim Cook’s belief in the culture of Apple came across loud and clear during Monday’s conference call with analysts and reporters.
Speaking about Apple as a “force for good in the world beyond our products” Cook claimed that, “Whether it’s improving working conditions or the environment, standing up for human rights, helping eliminate AIDS, or reinventing education, Apple is making substantial contributions to society.”
Although no further details were provided, Cook’s vision for Apple is backed up by some evidence. Having previously been labeled the “least green” tech company by Greenpeace due to its reliance on coal at data centers, Apple has made the conscious decision for its newly-scheduled $5.5 billion Cupertino “spaceship” headquarters to have 70% of its power provided on-site by photovoltaics and fuel cells, with the remaining power covered by sustainable “green sources” in California. The company has additionally teamed up with Nevada’s largest power utility company to build a solar farm, while its data center in Maiden, North Carolina is now powered by 100% renewable sources.
Apple has also joined the fight against disease, with proceeds from the forthcoming November 23 Southeby’s auction for a limited edition red Mac Pro going toward treating HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis.
In terms of “standing up for human rights” Cook is obviously keen to turn the public opinion of Apple away from the various PR disasters associated with FoxConn over recent years. Apple’s Supplier Code of Conduct rails against unsafe working conditions, underage labor and excessive work hours, while earlier this year Tim Cook donated an hour of his time for a charity auction conducted to raise money for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. (The winning bid was $61,000.)
Any large company’s stated desire to achieve social good will, quite rightly, come under scrutiny, but Cook’s decisions at least show that he is willing to back up his words with actions. Compared to the questions surrounding Steve Jobs’ charitable giving, if Cook can turn Apple into a company that ranks social causes anywhere close to retina display in terms of importance, this could prove to be his lasting Apple legacy.
- Source Apple financials conference call
- Via Phone Arena