Apple can be an environmental leader again

by Renee Blanchard

May 9, 2012

Greenpeace shines green light and video on the sides of the downtown Apple Store to call attention to Apple Computer's lackluster record on electronic waste on the eve of the annual MacWorld users conference.

© David Paul Morris / Greenpeace

The very first campaign I worked on when I arrived at Greenpeace in 2006 was the Green My Apple campaign. It was exciting and different, and as someone who has proudly held on to her iMac G3 (Bondi Blue I might add) to this very day, I was part of making a company I loved even better. I still remember being in a meeting in San Francisco in May 2007 when a coworker excitedly told us to check the Apple Web site.They were finally promising a Greener Apple.

 

09 May 2012Green My Apple Projection San Francisco David Paul Morris / Greenpeace

 

Apple has so many fans because the company knows how to take something great and make it even better. The Green My Apple campaign worked the same way. Greenpeace built some simple tools and let Apple-lovers create unique messages to send directly to Apple. The questions about Apples environmental practices were coming to the company from the people who loved Apple the most. At first, Apple did not want to admit there was a problem, but Apple ultimately recognized that its customers were right, and responded.

In 2009 the company became the first in the industry to release a computer free of the nasty chemicals Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs). Since then, company after company has followed in Apples footsteps. Apple created a pathway for all of us, even those who have never owned an Apple, to purchase more environmentally-friendly electronics and from the beginning, we knew they could.

Last week, Greenpeace released a report calledHow Clean is Your Cloud?evaluating tech companies energy choices for how they power the cloud. Apple scored pretty poorly. So were back asking Apple lovers to help the company lead the industry again, because they continue to prove they can.

The IT industry is at a crossroads. With estimates that our digital data will grow 50-fold by 2020, its extremely important that the energy source that powers the cloud is clean. This growth is and will continue to put a demand on our energy infrastructure across the globe. This can go one of two ways: more dirty energy that makes us sick and causes climate change, or more sustainable clean energy. IT companies like Apple arebig customers to utilities like Duke Energyand they have the buying power to demand clean energy.

So like I said, were back asking Apple to lead once again. We want them to set a policy that says theyll build new data centers in places that have access to renewable energy.

Heres how you can help:Join the over 210,000 peoplewho are asking Apple and other IT companies to Clean Our Cloud. Then ask your friends to help out too. Apple grew to become an environmental leader the last time you asked them. They can do it again.

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