Apple launches expanded environmental reports

Apple has launched a retooled version of its website dealing with the company’s impact on the environment, alongside substantially more comprehensive reports into the company’s efforts to be more eco-friendly. Contained in the new reports is Apple’s estimate of its total carbon emission footprint, which Apple says is 10.2 million metric tons annually. According to a BusinessWeek report, this number is much higher than those of HP and Dell, who put their emissions at 8.4 million tons and 471,000 tons, respectively, but Apple’s report accounts for more areas than those of its competitors, including overseas manufacturing, company operations, and product use. Apple claims that consumer use of its products accounts for 53% of the company’s total emissions, compared to 38% for manufacturing, and 3% from its own operations. “A lot of companies publish how green their building is, but it doesn’t matter if you’re shipping millions of power-hungry products with toxic chemicals in them,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs. “It’s like asking a cigarette company how green their office is.” Apple COO Tim Cook added, “We’re not being intellectually honest with ourselves if we don’t deal with the products that we make.”

In recent years, Apple has touted the strides it has taken in making its products more environmentally-friendly during major product introductions, and Jobs states in the BusinessWeek article that although the company was partially motivated by criticism from Greenpeace and other environmental watchdog organizations, he was also quite upset with them at the time. “I thought Greenpeace was being very unfair with us at the beginning, and that they were using us to get visibility,” Jobs said. “To have people saying we didn’t care and that we were callous in this area was very painful—and untrue.”

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