Greenpeace says Apple is almost top of the class, but could do better

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Green
Apple is (almost) leading the pack.
Photo: Greenpeace

Greenpeace has praised Apple’s energy initiatives in its new Guide to Greener Electronics report, although it notes that there is still work to be done in other areas.

Drilling down, Greenpeace awards Apple A- on its efforts involving sustainable energy, a B for its use of hazardous chemicals, and a C for resource consumption. Overall, the environmental non-profit awards Apple a B- for its efforts in this area, which is considerably higher than tech rivals Microsoft (C-), Sony (D+), Google (D+), Samsung (D-), and Amazon (F) — although lower than Fairphone (A).

Apple is mentioned multiple times in Greenpeace’s report. It notes that Apple is the only company that has committed to 100% renewable power for its supply chain, and that Apple has also recently committed to using recycled materials in its products, starting with tin and aluminum. As well as using renewable energy itself, Apple has also pushed 14 of its suppliers to make similar near-term commitments.

Not everything is quite so good, though. In particular, Greenpeace takes issue with Apple’s “planned obsolescence as [a] design feature.” The report notes that, “Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung are among the companies moving in the wrong direction on sustainable product design.” HP, Dell, and Fairphone, on the other hand, are producing a growing number of products that are repairable and upgradable.

Apple has also lobbied against legislation concerning the right to repair, which would hurt it by expanding the lifespan of products.

Apple and the environment

Overall, however, Apple comes across well. 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 the past, he has 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.

As part of his recent trip to Europe, Tim Cook visited with one of the companies which supplies Apple’s sustainably sourced packaging. Apple also recently published a new “Paper and Packaging Strategy” white paper, laying out the various measures the company is taking to lower the environmental impact its packaging has on the world.

Apple has previously been named the most environmentally friendly tech giant by Greenpeace on multiple occasions — representing a major turnaround for a company once labelled Greenpeace’s pick for “least green” tech company.

Earlier this year, Tim Cook accepted the Free Expression Award at the First Amendment advocacy Newseum, partly for the public stance he has taken on issues such as climate change and the environment.

Source: Greenpeace