Greenpeace to Gore: Help Make Apple Go Green

Tech Giant’s Inconvenient Truth Is Its Opposition to Sensible Environmental Policy

Media release - March 22, 2007
Greenpeace and more than 70 other groups are urging Vice President Gore to use his influence on the Board of Apple, Inc. to convince Apple to be a green leader in the electronics industry. Apple’s Board of Directors, of which Gore is a member, is due to send out a statement recommending that stockholders vote against two proposals that would strengthen Apple’s environmental policies. Draft board documents say that their board “unanimously” opposes both proposals. Greenpeace and 73 other groups called on Gore to enlist his leadership in persuading Apple to instead support the proposals and go further by making Apple an industry leader in making greener products.

"Vice President Gore, as a Board Member of Apple and owner of over $5 million in stock options, has the power to persuade the company to adopt stronger environmental policies. It would be shocking if Gore opposes any proposals calling for stronger environmental policies," Said Rick Hind, Legislative Director of the Greenpeace USA Toxics campaign.

The two resolutions up for a vote at this year's annual shareholder meeting will be offered by socially responsible investment firms, As You Sow and Trillium Asset Management.  The proposals call on Apple to assess the phase-out of toxic chemicals, including polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and adopt a stronger e-waste "take-back" and recycling program.  In its communication with shareholders, Apple called these initiatives too "costly, time intensive and duplicative of existing [Apple] policies, initiatives and efforts," and the Board of Directors "unanimously" recommends that shareholders not support the resolution.  

E-waste is one of the newest yet fastest growing streams of toxic wastes in the world today.  The United Nations estimates that roughly 50 million tons of e-waste is generated each year globally.  Greenpeace first engaged Apple on this issue in 2003, and since then has been urging the company to become a global leader on its toxics and take-back policies.  In a March 19 letter to Vice President Gore, Greenpeace asked that he use his clout as a political leader and an environmental visionary, to convince Apple to go beyond  the environmental policies of competitors such as Dell.  

In a March 21st letter from more than 70 organizations including, Consumers Union, Friends of the Earth, Environmental Action, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Mike Farrell (of M*A*S*H), the Computer Take-Back Campaign and Greenpeace, Gore was asked to, "use your influence as member of the board of Apple, Inc. and a global environmental leader to keep Steve Jobs and Apple from making a serious mistake."

"All we are asking Apple to do is apply their technological leadership to the environment.  Apple should be the first company to put products on the market that are free of toxic substances such as PVC and BFRs and implement a global take-back program that accepts e-waste from all points-of-sale." added Hind.  "As Mr. Gore would say, Apple merely lacks the political will to do the right thing," he concluded.

VVPR info:

Notes: To view the correspondence between Greenpeace and Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and between Greenpeace and Vice President Al Gore, visit: http://usaphoto.greenpeace.org/GoreApple/

Exp. contact date: 2007-04-22 00:00:00

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