updated 06:25 am EST, Tue November 25, 2008
Apple green MacBook ad
Apple has launched a new ad highlighting many of the environmentally-friendly aspects of the new MacBooks. The company touts the devices as "the world's greenest family of notebooks," due to the combination of recyclable materials, efficient power consumption and lack of hazardous chemicals. Steve Jobs issued a summary letter shortly after the new MacBook debut, outlining the company's environmental efforts. The statement reiterated the promised to remove PVC and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from all hardware by the end of 2008.
After receiving the ranking of worst technology company with regard to environmental issues in the 2006 Greenpeace 'Guide to Greener Electronics,' Apple has worked to eliminate a number of chemicals, including mercury from CCFL back-lights, arsenic used in the display glass, and BFRs or PVC found in circuit boards, cables, adhesives, and other components. Many of the changes go above the RoHS requirements that define limits for a number of chemicals.
Greenpeace has backed away from its harsher accusations and even applauded the company for its efforts, although the environmental group was careful to note that more room exists for removal of hazardous materials. An independent study claimed to find a variety of dangerous chemicals in the fumes emitted by the MacPro, although Apple denied the findings.
The aluminum unibody housing and glass display are both completely recyclable, stepping away from the components of previous models that would be difficult or impossible to reuse in other products. Greenpeace has publicly criticized a number of other companies for producing products that end up in toxic dumps, even claiming that children sometimes shovel the discarded electronics into furnaces that burn the plastic away to extract scrap metals.
The ad claims that the notebooks run on a quarter of the energy consumed by a light bulb, a level efficient enough to earn an Energy Star rating. The drive spins-down when inactive, while processing tasks are switched between the GPU and CPU to further lower the power drain. The use of LED back-lighting and automatic dimming is claimed to use 30 percent less energy than LCD displays.
Apple has not limited its efforts to the MacBook line, with the latest iPod generations also featuring eco-friendly changes. The company has also taken other steps to reduce its carbon-footprint, including reduction in packaging size that lowers paper consumption and allows larger numbers of devices to fit in each shipping container.