April 22, 2014
Green Apple: iPad Maker Touting Environmentally-Friendly Initiatives
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
On the eve of Earth Day, Apple released a new video in which CEO Tim Cook promises that the iPad and iPhone manufacturer will be making “an even stronger commitment to the environment for the future.”
In the video, Cook has vowed that Apple would “use greener materials, less packaging” and “do everything we can to keep our products out of landfills,” according to Angela Moscaritolo of PC Mag. To that end, he noted that the company had already instituted several changes for the good of the planet, including the construction of new solar- and wind-powered data centers.
The 90-second film entitled “Better” was released on Monday, and focuses on the company’s efforts to help reduce its carbon footprint, and it follows Cook’s previous commitments to have all of Apple’s facilities powered by 100 percent renewable energy, explained Wired.com’s Steven Levy. Currently, the company’s corporate campuses and data centers are at 94 percent renewable energy – up from just 35 percent in 2010 – and the next step will be to expand those efforts into Apple retail stores.
Apple also launched a new and improved version of its environmental website which discusses the company’s progress towards its goals and reveals some new initiatives as well, added Chris O’Brien of the Los Angeles Times. Among those new programs are an expanded product take-back program and the use of more recycled materials in its products.
“It would be easy to dismiss the ad as greenwashing – it's a little too slick in its visuals – but it turns out Cook actually has a lot to crow about when it comes to the environment,” Mashable reporter Chris Taylor pointed out. “Last month's Greenpeace report on the technology sector… singled out Apple for ‘significant improvements in their energy transparency’ and called it ‘the most improved company’ in the annual report.”
“The company hired the former head of the EPA, Lisa Jackson, to oversee its sustainability efforts in 2013. It has also committed itself to using green materials in its computers under the EPEAT standard,” he added. “The company made a large-scale investment in a solar array outside its North Carolina data center in 2012, pressured the state utility Duke Energy to offer electricity from renewable sources to all corporate customers, and recently announced it would use geothermal power for its new Reno data center.”
Cook’s company is not the only tech firm making an effort to be more environmentally friendly at its data centers and other facilities, Levy said. Facebook and Google both received high grades from Greenpeace, the former for open-source data center techniques and practices and the latter for its trailblazing work in efficiency – though neither can match Apple’s achievement of data centers completely powered by renewable energy sources.