Greenpeace Doubles Greener Apple's Electronics Rating

Apple computers is looking a bit more granny smith than Macintosh these days -- it seems they've decided it's finally time to go green, or as they put it they've decided to start telling people about how they're already in the process. Greener Apple

"Upon investigating Apple's current practices and progress towards these goals, I was surprised to learn that in many cases Apple is ahead of, or will soon be ahead of, most of its competitors in these areas." - Steve Jobs, from the release. 

Jobs describes "A Greener Apple", which includes removing toxic chemicals from future products and better recycling processes for old.

  • Lead - They've already reduced lead by switching from CRT (cathode-ray tube) displays to LCD, eliminating over 480 grams of lead per computer.
  • Cadmium, hexavalent chromium and brominated flame retardants - European Union restrictions on toxic chemicals in electronics, known as RoHS, are met by Apple while they say other companies take advantage of exemptions for the toxic substances. The company says they has phased out the three chemicals and more years before RoHS was in effect.
  • Arsenic and Mercury - Apple will be introducing LCD displays with arsenic-free glass this year. iPods are already free of mercury, and the company will transition to LED backlighting for all LCD displays when feasible. The first Macs using the technology are expected this year.
  • PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and BFRs (brominated flame retardants) - A promise to phase these nasty chemicals out of products by 2008 has caused Greenpeace to raise the company's green electronics rating from 2.5 to 5 out of 10.

"Apple has declared a phase out of the worst chemicals in its product range...by 2008. That beats Dell and other computer manufacturer's pledge to phase them out by 2009. Way to go Steve!" - Greenpeace

Greenpeace (which is behind the criticism from environmental organizations Jobs spoke of) was impressed with some of the changes, they're still pushing for a worldwide takeback and recycling program. Apple only has plans to offer it in the U.S. and Greenpeace points out that means other Apple products will still end up as e-waste in developing nations. It's nice to see someone leading the charge towards an electronics company that's "green to the core". And it's not just the manufacturers, one controversial big name retailer is looking to green their electronics offerings as well.

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