Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Greenpeace Gives Apple a B- in ‘Guide to Greener Electronics’

Greenpeace today published its Guide to Greener Electronics, which provides insight into the environmental practices of 17 major companies including Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, and more.

Among all of the companies Greenpeace evaluated for energy, resource consumption, and chemicals, Apple received the second best marks, trailing behind only Fairphone, a device designed with minimal environmental impact in mind.

Apple was lauded for its commitment to renewable energy and reducing supply chain emissions and its efforts to be transparent about the chemicals that are used in its products.

According to Greenpeace, Apple is the only company to have set a renewable energy goal for its supply chain, and several of its suppliers have already committed to using 100 percent renewable energy.

Apple is also committed to renewable energy at its own facilities and is ultimately aiming for a closed-loop supply chain. As for chemicals, Apple is one of two companies (along with Google) that have eliminated all brominated flame retardants and polyvinyl chloride.

Apple’s overall Greenpeace “grade” was a B-, but broken down, the company received an A- for the aforementioned environmental efforts, a B for chemicals, and a C for resources, due in large part to the lack of repairability of its devices and its use of proprietary parts.

Apple continues to design products with proprietary parts to limit access and actively lobbies against right to repair legislation in New York and Nebraska.

It is reported that Apple and Sony have blocked attempts to strengthen environmental electronics standards that would encourage device designs that are easier to repair, upgrade, and disassemble for recycling.

Greenpeace has previously targeted Apple in a repairability campaign to combat planned obsolescence, accusing Apple’s difficult-to-repair devices of shortening device lifespan and leading to more electronic waste. Apple is not likely to make changes to the way its devices are manufactured to make them easier for third-parties to repair, but its efforts towards a closed-loop supply chain could eventually result in far less waste.

Earlier this year, in Greenpeace’s annual green report, Apple was ranked the most environmentally friendly technology company in the world. That report focused on factors like energy transparency, energy efficiency, renewable energy commitment, and advocacy.

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