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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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Good Ol' Greenpeace
By mvpx02 on 12/3/2008 2:36:02 PM , Rating: 2
I like to believe that most of the people involved in organizations like Greenpeace are motivated by genuinely good intentions, even if some of the things they or their group say/do may be misguided. Resultantly, I find it funny when I read stories like this one.

As an organization focused on the health of the environment, I would think that Greenpeace would be first in line to applaud whenever companies act with goals similar to their own.

No company "Goes Green" simply to help the environment. Being on the green bandwagon in today’s market typically yields business benefits (increased sales, better company image, etc.) too sizeable for executives to ignore. Apple is just the same; Steve Jobs is in business to make money. After all, if they cared only about helping the environment & had no ulterior motives, they wouldn’t have even bothered advertising the laptops as being “Green”.

That being said, if Greenpeace wanted to most effectively help the environment (in the long run), rather than scolding Apple for not being “Green” enough, they’d commend the steps Apple has taken to become “Greener” and encourage other companies to follow Apple’s lead.

In writing this, I assume that the laptops are as “Green” as Apple claims, but even if the marketing is misleading, what the John Q. Public sees is Apple getting scolded for trying to develop & bring to market a more environmentally friendly product by the very people who ought to be encouraging such practices. It just seems a bit backwards to me… then again, this is Greenpeace we’re talking about.

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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