Greenpeace Rates Apple 4th Worst Eco-Friendly Tech Business, Apple Responds

Late last week, environmental watchdog Greenpeace released their Guide to Greener Electronics (pdf) which rates how eco-friendly different tech companies are based on publicly available information. Apple scored 4th lowest, beating only Leveno, Motorola, and Acer. Among the top-scorers were Nokia and Dell.

For a company that claims to lead on product design, Apple scores badly on almost all criteria. The company fails to embrace the precautionary principle, withholds its full list of regulated substances and provides no timelines for eliminating toxic polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and no commitment to phasing out all uses of brominated flame retardants (BFRs). Apple performs poorly on product take back and recycling, with the exception of reporting on the amounts of its electronic waste recycled.

News.com has received a statement from Apple responding to the Greenpeace claims.

Apple has a strong environmental track record and has led the industry in restricting and banning toxic substances such as mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium, as well as many BFRs. We have also completely eliminated CRT monitors, which contain lead, from our product line.

Apple does note that their LCD monitors do contain small amounts of mercury, for which they are working to find a suitable alternative. Apple began an expanded computer recycling program in April 2006. Apple has had an iPod recycling program in the US since 2005.

Apple's annual shareholder meetings have seen frequent protests from environmental groups (2005, 2006).

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