updated 10:45 am EDT, Thu April 19, 2007
Greenpeace on Apple board
Apple on Monday expressed its public opposition to two environmental proposals on which shareholders will vote at the May 10th annual shareholders meeting. The proposals call on the Cupertino-based company to strengthen its policies on toxic chemicals and the recycling of electronic waste, as well as prohibiting the export of electronic waste to developing countries. Greenpeace today responded to Apple's opposition, noting that Al Gore -- a member of Apple's board of directors -- was part of the unanimous vote to oppose both resolutions. "It is disappointing to see Vice President Gore oppose proposals that would strengthen Apple's lagging environmental policies," said Rick Hind of Greenpeace. "However, it will be far more important if Gore can convince Steve Jobs to make Apple an industry leader in green policies and deeds."
More than 70 organizations in March of this year urged Gore to use his influence as a board member to make the company an industry leader on environmental policy. Apple ranked last out of 14 companies in the latest Greenpeace report on environmental friendliness.
"We were encouraged last year when Apple announced on the eve of Earth Day that it would recycle a computer of any brand if a consumer bought a new Mac," said Ted Smith, Chair of the Computer Take-Back Campaign. "However, we were not thrilled when the details were revealed that make the program hard for consumers to use."
"Given Apple's opposition to modest shareholder proposals, we fear that Steve Job's upcoming announcement is likely to be a classic Greenwash package of pretty words and ignore specific actions and timelines," said Jim Puckett of the Basel Action Network, the organization that first documented global dumping of electronic waste. "But if Al Gore can convince Jobs to stop using the worst toxic chemicals, stop dumping toxic computer waste in China and Africa and adopt a comprehensive recycling program worldwide, it will be a grand slam for the environment."