Apple has had a complicated relationship with environmentalists. The company prides itself on its greenness in many ways, having been a leader in eliminating lead, bromides, PVC, and excess packaging from its products and building renewable energy sources for its North Carolina data centre. But it has tangled frequently with environmental groups, especially Greenpeace.
Some of Apple’s clashes appear to result from tension between a narrow, regulation-based view of environmentalism and the demands of product innovation. Apple ignited the latest round in a running battle this week by pulling out of EPEAT, a organisation dedicated to, as its mission statement says, “a world where the negative environmental and social impacts of electronics are continually reduced and electronic products are designed to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainability.” Not only will Apple not submit new products for EPEAT certification, but it asked to remove 39 already certified products from the EPEAT registry.