A few years ago, Greenpeace launched a frontal assault on Apple’s supposed lack of electronics recycling and “iPoison” prevention. The group took Apple to task for not doing enough to ease the “toxic chemicals” and “short life spans” of iPods and Macs. Even today, despite Apple’s progress, Greenpeace remains vigilant:
“Greenpeace is on guard, watching future Apple announcements and holding it accountable,” [Casey Harrell, Greenpeace International campaigner] said. “What we’d really like for Christmas is to see Apple remove toxic chemicals from all its products, and announce a free, global recycling scheme. Now, that would make a very tasty green Apple indeed!”
We should all applaud Apple for removing a lot of the poisonous junk from their iPods and Macs, but I’ve argued that Apple’s problem isn’t a lack of environmental stewardship – it’s that they don’t brag enough about their efforts. Now that Steve is pointing out Apple’s work on the e-waste front at these events, their “green” image can only improve.
This is a good example of the good things that can come from customer and organizational pressure from the bottom up: Apple had a decent environmental record, but thanks to heavy lobbying (and a board member named Al Gore), we can probably look forward to more checklists like the one Steve Jobs showed on Tuesday.