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.
quote: Greenpeace has been filming around Guiyu and caught the recycling work. Women were heating circuit boards over a coal fire, pulling out chips and pouring off the lead solder. Men were using what is literally a medieval acid recipe to extract gold. Pollution has ruined the town. Drinking water is trucked in. Scientists have studied the area and discovered that Guiyu has the highest levels of cancer-causing dioxins in the world. They found pregnancies are six times more likely to end in miscarriage, and that seven out of ten kids have too much lead in their blood.
quote: "The situation in Guiyu is actually pre-capitalist. It's mercantile. It reverts back to a time when people lived where they worked, lived at their shop. Open, uncontrolled burning of plastics. Chlorinated and brominated plastics is known worldwide to cause the emission of polychlorinated and polybrominated dioxins. These are among the most toxic compounds known on earth," Hershkowitz explained.
quote: have studied the area and discovered that Guiyu has the highest levels of cancer-causing dioxins in the world. They found pregnancies are six times more likely..."