Greenpeace thinks everyone should be more like Apple

Apple has been praised by Greenpeace for its

Apple has been praised by Greenpeace for its proactive role in leading the sustainability drive. Samsung? Not so much.

Considering that just a few short years ago Apple was scoring dead last on Greenpeace’s report on green-friendly data centres, the company has made amazing strides in order to turn around its reputation.

In a new September report from Greenpeace, entitled “Green Gadgets: Designing the Future,” the global environmental organization says that Apple is doing more than any other manufacturer to reduce the damage it does to the environment. The report notes that Apple has kept its promise to eliminate use of hazardous materials including Polyvinylchloride (PVC) and Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in its products.

Apple is also praised for its efforts to eliminate the use of conflict minerals in its supply chain.

“Apple has shown us a glimpse of a greener future, leading the sector on toxic-free products and starting to address the huge environmental footprint of electronics manufacturing,” claims Greenpeace UK’s head of IT, Andrew Hatton.

But while Apple is doing all the right things, Samsung is apparently doing just the opposite. “Samsung, the world’s biggest electronics company, has failed to meet its elimination goals for products beyond mobiles, joining Dell in backtracking on previous public phase out commitments,” Greenpeace says.

Apple has been one of several companies lobbying for official regulation that will restrict the use of hazardous substances so as to remain competitive with less ethical firms who will use such materials to reduce cost.

Tim Cook has been very outspoken about his commitment to the environment while at Apple, noting that he wants the company to be a “force for good” in the world.

In this vein Apple has made a number of key hires including Lisa Jackson, the former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, who now serves as the company’s top environmental adviser. Apple has also embraced alternative energy source like solar and hydroelectric power for its data centers and forthcoming Apple 2 campus, as part of its pledge to use 100 percent renewable energy to power all of its facilities — including Apple Stores.

Earlier this year, Tim Cook lashed out at shortsighted, bottom line-driven investors by telling them to “get out of [Apple] stock” if they weren’t willing to get on board with the company’s green agenda.

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About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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