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Greenpeace is not impressed by the claims of Apple CEO Steve Jobs that his MacBooks are "the greenest line of notebooks" in the country.  (Source: Apple)
Worker harder, Jobs, if you want our lovin' say ecoactivists

Every season seems to bring new claims by Cupertino's Apple Corp. of its leaps-and-bounds advances in being more environmentally friendly.  And every season brings a scathing report from Greenpeace on how far the company has yet to grow.

Perhaps Steve Jobs and company were tempting fate when Apple announced in a recent series of ads that the MacBooks were "the world's greenest family of notebooks", referencing their power saving use of Intel processors and their halogen and plastic free construction.  Unsurprisingly, Greenpeace was there to punch a hole in Apple's dreams as it delivered its environmental report card full of less-than-glowing things to say about Apple's big claims.

While Apple deserves credit for eliminating brominated flame-retardants (BFRs) and other toxic plastics and managing relatively low power consumption, Greenpeace says the company's lack of providing a timeline in phasing out other potentially harmful compounds used in the laptops and their production is one of its key problems.  Another significant shortcoming is Apple's failure to create environmental impact reports and tackle the problem of tech trash, it states.

Greenpeace gives Apple a failing rating -- 4.3 out of 10 (PDF).  Writes Greenpeace, "[Apple]needs to commit to phasing out additional substances with timelines, improve its policy on chemicals and its reporting on chemicals management."

Apple's spokesperson declined to comment on the criticism, saying merely that customers should check out the "Apple and the Environment" section of the company's website if they want information on the company's environmental policy.



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Still a step in the right direction
By bravacentauri83 on 12/1/2008 12:30:34 AM , Rating: 4
While the choice in advertising slogans can be misleading, Apple "appears" to be making an effort to create environmentally friendly products and most likely reduce its carbon footprint. The company can't change everything overnight due to the course of business. It still has a long way to go.




RE: Still a step in the right direction
By dcalfine on 12/1/2008 12:42:23 AM , Rating: 2
I understand that Apple still hasn't reached true green, but the new laptops are EPEAT Gold, along with two dozen or so others. Greenpeace fails to mention which laptops are more green than the new MacBooks.


RE: Still a step in the right direction
By toyotabedzrock on 12/1/2008 1:40:05 AM , Rating: 2
Any netbook is more green.

Also they claim they are the first to remove the hazardous compounds when they are well behind most computer makers.


RE: Still a step in the right direction
By headbox on 12/1/2008 1:46:32 AM , Rating: 5
Give specific examples when you make claims like that.

Greenpeace won't be happy until computers are made out of hemp.


RE: Still a step in the right direction
By dcalfine on 12/1/2008 2:08:43 AM , Rating: 2
My thoughts exactly.

If Apple happens to be fibbing a tad in its marketing campaign, it certainly wouldn't be the first time. But please be specific with comments that suggest that Apple's claims are false and that other manufacturers are ahead. I'm not saying that such claims are wrong, I just would like to see some proof.

There are 103 notebooks that reach the EPEAT Gold standard. Apple's recent additions are certainly welcome.


RE: Still a step in the right direction
By dcalfine on 12/1/2008 2:16:17 AM , Rating: 2
Also, based on Greenpeace's guide, it seems what's really holding Apple back is the iPod line, whereas the new laptops meet standards.


By paydirt on 12/1/2008 9:07:38 AM , Rating: 5
Apple doesn't care about facts when they advertise. I think that is very clear by now. It's all about innuendo.


RE: Still a step in the right direction
By quiksilvr on 12/1/2008 2:13:19 AM , Rating: 3
LOL, hemp. That's like making a laptop out of wood, and I know no one is THAT stupid as to--

http://www.theinquirer.it/wp-content/uploads/2008/...

uhh...dammit.


By AnnihilatorX on 12/1/2008 8:48:48 AM , Rating: 2
I am working at a computer that can photosythesize. Algae seems to be happy working at the water cooling department.


RE: Still a step in the right direction
By Frank M on 12/1/2008 8:46:37 AM , Rating: 4
LENOVO Ranking = 8/10
NOKIA Ranking = 7.3/10
SONY ERICSSON Ranking = 7.0/10
DELL Ranking = 7/10
SAMSUNG Ranking = 6.3/10
MOTOROLA Ranking = 6.3 /10
FUJITSU-SIEMENS Ranking = 6/10
HP Ranking = 5.6/10
ACER Ranking = 5.3/10
TOSHIBA Ranking = 4.3/10
SONY Ranking = 4.0/10
LG ELECTRONICS Ranking = 3.6/10
PANASONIC Ranking = 3.6/10
APPLE Ranking = 2.7/10


RE: Still a step in the right direction
By VaultDweller on 12/1/2008 8:55:07 AM , Rating: 2
So then where does the article's figure of 4.3/10 for Apple come from?


RE: Still a step in the right direction
By Frank M on 12/1/2008 9:38:25 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure, typo, I'd guess. It's all in the easily linked source document. This isn't rocket science.


RE: Still a step in the right direction
By Frank M on 12/1/2008 9:42:46 AM , Rating: 2
Oops, my mistake, they linked to 2007's doccument, but not this year's.


RE: Still a step in the right direction
By Frank M on 12/1/2008 9:51:32 AM , Rating: 3
Here's a link to this year's report: http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/internationa...

NOKIA Ranking = 6.9/10
SONY ERICSSON Ranking = 5.9/10
TOSHIBA Ranking = 5.9/10
SAMSUNG Ranking = 5.9/10
FUJITSU-SIEMENS Ranking = 5.7/10
LG ELECTRONICS Ranking = 5.7/10
MOTOROLA Ranking = 5.3/10
SONY Ranking = 5.3/10
PANASONIC Ranking = 5.1/10
SHARP Ranking = 4.9/10
ACER Ranking = 4.7/10
DELL Ranking = 4.7/10
HP Ranking = 4.5/10
APPLE Ranking = 4.3/10


By foolsgambit11 on 12/1/2008 8:35:31 PM , Rating: 2
So... did everybody else suddenly start doing worse this year, or did Greenpeace make their grading harder? Because Sony Ericsson lost like, a whole point, Nokia lost a half a point, etc. Lenovo went from nearly 8 to under 4. Geez, they obviously made a bad 'green' choice. Haha, Microsoft got a 2.9.

I see there are additional criteria on this report card that weren't there for the March '07 report card. That must be what's up.


RE: Still a step in the right direction
By soydios on 12/1/2008 1:54:47 AM , Rating: 4
A netbook with toxic plastics and a mercury-containing flourescent lamp illuminating the screen would probably be less green than the new MacBooks.

I don't like a lot of Apple's ads for this reason: they declare something, as if to say "behold, it is good because we say so", and never give any supporting facts. Perhaps that applies to advertising in general, as well.


By sprockkets on 12/1/2008 1:26:34 PM , Rating: 2
Most netbooks came with LED backlights to help with battery life and size to begin with. If anything, Apple was the last major brand to use LED, and while the time lag isn't worth harping about, they usually do use those kind of advanced features faster than most brands, due to their premium nature.


RE: Still a step in the right direction
By VaultDweller on 12/1/08, Rating: 0
RE: Still a step in the right direction
By Frank M on 12/1/2008 8:35:08 AM , Rating: 2
They do that, you just didn't bother to read the report, or even glance at it. Lenovo, as usual, tops the chart.
http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/internationa...


By foolsgambit11 on 12/1/2008 8:36:54 PM , Rating: 2
That's the old report. Look around on this conversation for the new report. Lenovo is like, 2nd to last, with a grade under 4 in the new report.


RE: Still a step in the right direction
By Frank M on 12/1/2008 8:33:41 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, they do, if you bother to read their report. Lenovo scores at the top.

http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/internationa...


RE: Still a step in the right direction
By VaultDweller on 12/1/2008 9:00:04 AM , Rating: 1
Well, I guess Greenpeace has done their job then.

Silly me for assuming that the article would include such information if available, being that it's the whole point of the piece. At least the article could suggest that other companies were included in this report. From reading the article, you'd think it was an Apple-only review as there is absolutely no mention of any parties other than Apple or Greenpeace.


RE: Still a step in the right direction
By HinderedHindsight on 12/1/2008 9:34:20 AM , Rating: 2
Perhaps a reading of the article might lead one to believe that no consideration was taken with other manufacturers.

But your previous posts put the onus of proof squarely on Greenpeace while *appearing* to give Apple a free pass on not having to show a modicum of truth for anything. Why is it you appeared to give Apple the free pass when they made the original claim (being the greenest) while arguing Greenpeace's refuting the claim required proof?

The implication with your argument is that Apple's advertising is to be believed while an environmental agency's claim is not. Even when car companies advertise that they have the "best car or truck", they at least reference the magazine or periodical who made the claim; they at least understand that if they're going to make a subjective claim, they need to back it up. In this case, Apple is making an objective claim with no reference and no proof.

In any debate or court case, the onus of proof is always on the party making the claim (ie, the prosecution). Advertising (and Apple is not by itself when it comes to this) seems largely exempt from this rule- it's almost as if they can put anything in a commercial and it becomes fact.

(keep in mind, I do use and enjoy a number of Apple products)


RE: Still a step in the right direction
By whiskerwill on 12/1/2008 11:00:22 AM , Rating: 3
Lenovo also gives large contributions to Greenpeace every year.

It's amazing that the companies Greenpeace complains about always seem to be the ones that don't do this.


By bob332 on 12/1/2008 4:15:13 PM , Rating: 2
well in 07 they were the top, in 08, they are near the bottom. so, did they nice check to greenpeace not clear for this years info?


By Despoiler on 12/1/2008 2:00:08 AM , Rating: 5
Apple is a marketing company first and a computer company second. They want a pat on the back for being way behind the curve on the push for more environmentally friendly. I'm just wondering with the MAC sheeple will wake up from their hipster comas?


By Entropy78 on 12/1/2008 2:27:54 AM , Rating: 2
If they want to significantly reduce carbon footprint, they have to focus more on the manufacturing stage of the notebook. Some research has already pointed out that up to 85 % of all greenhouse gas emissions occur during manufacturing of computers and its components, while the remaining 15 % actually occur during the use stage (i.e. CO2 emission as a result from electrical energy consumption).

And I don't believe that carving out the body of a laptop out of a single brick of aluminium isn't going to help in reducing energy consumption during the manufacturing stage either...


RE: Still a step in the right direction
By omnicronx on 12/1/2008 10:30:37 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
reduce its carbon footprint.
I guess you are the same type of person that believes buying imported 'green' products instead of merely buying locally is better for the environment, because they don't have to ship their 'green product' half way across the country to get it to you, with all but leaving you with the same 'carbon footprint' while paying a higher price.

There is no such thing as a 'green' computer aside from lowered power consumption. Regardless of what the computer is made of, it still ends up in the same dump, and will sit there for the next 200 years (right beside the old model), with a slightly lower amount of chemicals leaking into the earth.

A green computer is a gimmick, a long with the countless other 'green' products on the market.


By callmeroy on 12/1/2008 4:18:31 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed.

The whole recent global warming thing is a gimmick as well. The only reason why I don't slam it totally is because I believe in being neat and clean just for the sake of being neat and clean...call it how i was raised or call it good old fashioned common sense -- who wants to live in filth? How is that comfortable. I'm not saying my place is perfect 100% of the time - its not, but I'm not a slob. If it takes this huge big deal about global warming to make people throw away trash properly, recycle more often, etc. then good (I think its pathetic that you need such an effort, as doing these things w/o any incentive other than not being a complete slob should be all the reason you need..but hey to each their own).

If folks want to believe that the world is doomed to global warming and that's what motivates them to be cleaner...good for them.

Mean while, I'll be clean and puting trash where it belongs and recycling now and even after the global warming fad ends -- because that's the way I want to live. At the same time I'll entertain myself with the speeches on eletric cars and how that'll save us.....no one thinks um...how do you thinks that the power plants to produce that HUGE electric demand is just causing the pollution all over again....lol


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