updated 12:50 pm EST, Mon December 8, 2008
Greenpeace Picks on Apple
Greenpeace may be unfairly singling out Apple in its latest technology rankings, research by BusinessWeek shows. The magazine notes that Apple's score on the eco-friendly chart has barely moved despite its green initiative that eliminated toxins and many non-recyclable materials from most of notebooks, which itself followed similar moves to purge many of the materials from iPhones and iPods.
Apple's changes put virtually all of its computers in line with the Energy Star 4 standard for efficiency and are accompanied by other changes such as smaller packaging, while competitors with less environmentally friendly lineups have scored higher on the charts. Dell is cited as an example and ships just half its notebooks and two thirds of its desktops with Energy Star approval, but is ranked above Apple in the charts.
Companies like Dell also ship in much larger numbers and so do greater damage to the environment for every product that doesn't meet Greenpeace's expectations, according to the report.
The environmental activism group is accused of relying more on wording than on policy, nothing that both Apple and Dell appear to follow the precautionary principle of excluding questionable materials but that only Dell is praised due to its actual publication of that guideline. Apple's use of different carbon footprint measurements also appears to hurt its comparisons regardless of results.
While relatively slow to adopt an environmental policy, Apple has been relatively committed to its plans and is on track to eliminate all bromides and chlorides from Macs by the end of 2008 where Dell is no longer promising the same for its own line.