updated 10:15 am EDT, Tue April 3, 2007
Greenpeace ranks Apple
Environmental group Greenpeace International placed Apple last out of 14 companies in its list of major electronics manufacturers for environmental friendliness, reinforcing the organization's stance that Apple continues to use toxic chemicals in its manufacturing processes and that the Cupertino-based company has plenty of room to reform its recycling program for old or broken products. Apple has not stopped using several types of harmful chemicals in its manufacturing, according to Greenpeace spokeswoman Iza Kruszewska, and unlike many other companies has yet to set a timetable for phasing those chemicals out. Apple, however, rejects Greenpeace's ranking system, and said that its products are among the "greenest" on the market, according to the Associated Press.
"We disagree with Greenpeace's rating and the criteria they chose," said Apple spokeswoman Sheryl Seitz. "Apple has a strong environmental track record and has led the industry in restricting and banning toxic substances such as mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium, as well as many BFRs (brominated flame retardants)."
Greenpeace issued Apple an extra-negative rating, however, for its lack of headway in abandoning the use of BFRs. Kruszewska admitted that the choices of manufacturers and judging criteria are subjective, but said that Greenpeace tries to be "fair and transparent" in offering advanced warning to companies.
The organization elected to "green" Apple's flagship Fifth Avenue New York store in mid-December of last year, following an update of Greenpeace's 'Guide to Greener Electronics' which ranked Apple the worst technology company with regard to environmental issues.
Greenpeace activists were ejected from the Mac Expo in London last year, where the group set up a 'Green my Apple' stall to hand out flyers and organic green Apples to event participants. Event organizers said they received complaints from unnamed sources, and that Greenpeace activists gathered outside the show entrance to hand out flyers depicting Apple as one of the worst computer manufacturers for including harmful materials in its product to attendees entering the event.