Greenpeace to Gore: Help Make Apple Go Green

July 6, 2010

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: steve.smith@wdc.greenpeace.org

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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