updated 09:15 pm EDT, Mon September 28, 2009
Group suggests Greenpeace isn't the only watchdog
A California-based nonprofit, As You Sow, claims it has been a significant influence in Apple's latest campaign to develop environmentally-conscious practices. Although Greenpeace typically gets the first mention amongst organizations pushing companies to improve their methods, As You Sow suggests it directly engaged the Mac maker to disclose carbon footprint data.
Apple's previous 'green' marketing focused on reduction of toxins such as BFRs and PVC in manufacturing materials. The changes helped the company boost its status amid other computer makers included in Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics.
As You Sow last year reportedly filed a shareholder proposal seeking improved disclosure of data on Apple's carbon footprint. The group introduced the proposal at a shareholder meeting attended by the company's board. The nonprofit pointed out Apple's poor performance on climate disclosure surveys and argued that it lagged behind peers.
Aside from the debate regarding which activist group deserves more credit for Apple's recent green push, As You Sow director Conrad MacKerron has expressed desire for the company to go a step further. After speaking personally with Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer about live cycle assessment (LCA), MacKerron felt the company should also provide the underlying data.
"What bothered me then and bothers me now is that unless Apple is also [sic] discloses the data and assumptions on which the LCA is based, and peers do as well, assessing performance relative to industry peers will not be possible," says MacKerron.