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Apple scores low in Greenpeace report

updated 01:20 pm EDT, Fri August 25, 2006

Apple scores low in report

Greenpeace has released a new environmental report card for technology companies, detailing the use of toxic chemicals, recycling, and quality of take-back programs. Nokia, Dell, HP, Sony Ericsson, and Samsung were the only companies to pass the 50 percent or greater mark, while Apple, Sony, LGE, Panasonic, Toshiba, Fujitsu-Siemens, Acer, Motorola, and Lenovo all failed. Apple earned only 27 percent (2.7 out of 10) with low scores in almost all criteria, finishing ahead of Acer, Motorola, and Lenovo. Greenpeace also took into account the companies potential to move forward and their timeline for cleanup as well as product safety. [chart, details included]

Apple did not receive a "good" (3+) score in any categories, but did receive a "partially good" rating for its overall amount recycled products. Apple scored "partially bad" for it's lack of public availability of precautionary steps, chemical management use, and its timeline for PVC fade out.

Green Peace rated Apple "partially bad" in producer responsibility for failing to define its approach to producer responsibility and for a lack of worldwide information regarding the availability of its take-back programs.

Apple received a "bad" rating due to it's complete lack of a timeline for BFR phase-out alongside its lack of PVC-free and/or BFR-free models in it's product line, only offering some PVC-free peripherals on its website.

Score Chart

The Greenpeace group had some strong words for Apple, stating that "for a company that claims to lead on product design, Apple scores badly on almost all criteria." The organization goes on to state: "The company fails to embrace the precautionary principle, withholds its full list of regulated substances and provides no timelines for eliminating toxic [chemicals]."

The group demands that Apple clean up its products by eliminating hazardous substances, as well as take back and recycle its products responsibly once they become obsolete. Note that scores in this test were originally out of 30 and simplified to a score out of 10.

Where Companies stand

by MacNN Staff




  1. mgpalma

    Joined: Dec 1969



    oh what exciting news...not.

    I love self-appointed policy makers.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    find me a...

    Frenchman with a limpet mine quick! Seems like their problem is that they don't know what Apple does, rather than having any factual data. Sink me!

  1. Hillbilly Geek

    Joined: Dec 1969


    If it annoys Greenpiece..'s alright with me! They make such a fuss about everything, we'll never be able to tell if there is a serious problem. Low signal to noise ratio...

  1. gorbag

    Joined: Dec 1969


    DELL tops

    Interesting. Is this because their machines are ready to be recycled on delivery?

    Just joking. I'm not sure where Greenpeace's requirements came from (precautionary principle, please!), but I expect some of the items might have merit. The problem is that they seem to be mixed up with "green" claptrap that has little evidence that the cost isn't greater than the supposed benefit. Rather than this subjective rating, I suggest they publish objective criteria, and let the public decide.

  1. tomodachi

    Joined: Dec 1969



    >>Apple received a "bad" rating due to it's complete lack of a timeline for BFR phase-out alongside its lack of PVC-free and/or BFR-free models in it's product line

    If having or not having a particular type of product in their entire product line is the ceterion for this ranking (for example), then it really starts to make little sense that they are comparing companies like Dell, Apple, Nokia, Sony-Ericsson, Sony, etc., who all have radically different range of products.

    E.g., Apple sells computers, monitors, and iPods and that's about it. Nokia sells cellphones. There is zero overlap. Now, what if it's inherently easier to make cellphones PVC/BFR-free than it is to do the same with computers, monitors, and iPods? Then the ranking is inherently biased towards cellphone companies. And in fact, 3 of the top 5 are cellphone companies.

    It will also favor companies with a very wide range of products, because it's easier to have one product out of 200 that is PVC/BFR-free than it it is to have one product out of 10 (which is about the number of products Apple has--Mac Pros, iMacs, MacBook Pros, MacBooks, Mac minis, X-serves, Cinema Displays, iPods, iPod nanos, and iPod shuffles (apparentely they don't count peripherals in their survey).

    That's probaly why companies like Dell and Sony are fairly ranked high because their product lineup is quite extensive. And if you look at the lowest scoring companies? Yep, they tend to be the "computer-only" companies (except for Motorola, heh).

    I won't call surveys like this pointless, as environmental friendliness is an important area for tech-companies of the 21st century, and as a fan, I do wish Apple to be a leader in this area. But I feel they really didn't to do a superb job of trying not to compare apples to oranges.

  1. beeble

    Joined: Dec 1969


    greenpeace agenda

    It's been widely known for quite some time the Greenpeace aren't so much interested in protecting the environment as they are in political power. Why else would they oppose numerous inventions that have a very positive impact on the environment? Their reports, like this one, are often full of holes and lack credibility. They are a loud noise but rarely have anything useful to say.

  1. Gabriel Morales




    I respect and care about honest strides towards protecting our fragile environment. However, though it's possible they may have a point, I don't exactly have a lot of faith in Greenpeace. It's the story of the fanatical boy who cried wolf.

    I would have taken this report under much more serious consideration had it come from the Sierra Club or some other more reasonable organization than Greenpeace.

  1. Hillbilly Geek

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sierra Club?

    ...bah! Almost as bad ;-) If we weren't meant to eat animals, they wouldn't be made out of meat.

  1. christophersj

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Appalled at you guys

    I'm appalled by the neanderthal attitudes and ad hominem attacks against this report. While there may be a couple of good points in those comments above, like the apples and oranges bit, most of the comments are suspect, unhelpful, and of questionable morality considering the state of environmental issues.

    Guys, it is not an exaggeration or "political wing-nut" talk to discuss certain behaviors leading to the demise of humans and other behaviors not doing so.

    At this point in our history, its about behaving sustainably or not. If you dont support our general health then you are a part of the problem.

    If Greenpeace is following a logic that is unscientifically sound, then thats one thing. But right now, I trust what they have to say from their study wayyyy over the inane comments from above.

    Please get educated and learn about your world and the effects we have upon it. There are just too many examples of the above attitudes leading to disaster. Over and over again.

    Christopher Johnson in Los Angeles

  1. jchen

    Joined: Dec 1969



    QFT. I wholeheartedly agree - this zealotry is laughable.

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