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Apple drops in Greenpeace rankings


In the latest Greenpeace Greener Electronics rankings (, Apple takes a big drop (from fifth to ninth place) “not because it has lost any points but because several other companies have overtaken it.”Here’s what Greenpeace has to say about Apple:

“Apple drops to 9th place from 5th, with the same score of 4.9. Apple does best on the toxic chemicals criteria, where it scores most of its points. All Apple products are now free of PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs), with the exception of PVC-free power cords in countries where their safety certification process is still ongoing.

“For this Apple continues to score full marks (doubled). Apple scores points for its chemicals policy informed by the precautionary principle and for lobbying the EU institutions for a ban on PVC, chlorinated flame retardants and BFRs during the current revision of the EU’s RoHS Directive (Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electronics), but for full marks it needs to provide a public position on its support for immediate restrictions in RoHS 2.0 on organo- chlorine and bromine compounds.

“It also needs to clarify its stance regarding the position of the trade federation TechAmerica on further immediate restrictions and in particular PVC and BFRs. Apple scores only one point on information about its management of chemicals and its supply chain communications; this criterion evaluates disclosure of information flow in the supply chain. Apple also continues to score poorly for the minimal information it provides about its future toxic chemical phase-out plans.

“It scores substantially less on the e-waste criteria than on toxic chemicals. Apple has improved coverage of its take-back programme with take-back and recycling services now extended to Brazil and to the Asia-Pacific region, including India, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand, Korea and Australia. It reports a 2008 recycling rate (as a percentage of sales seven years ago) of 41.9 percent, up from 38 percent in 2007 and 18 percent in 2006; however, it needs to provide details on how this is calculated. Apple has set a goal of achieving a 50 percent recycling rate by 2010.

“On the energy criteria, Apple discloses full product lifecycle emissions, including supply chain and reports on the amount of CO2-equivalent emissions saved through use of renewable energy (RE) in 2008. However, it provides no indication of the amount of RE used as a portion of Apple’s electricity use, which depends on the fossil fuel source displaced by this RE use. Apple scores a point for reporting that its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were reduced by 3 percent year over year from 2006 to 2007.

“Despite having left the US Chamber of Commerce over differences in climate policy, it is disappointing that Apple has yet to make a statement on the need for mandatory reduction of GHG emissions. Its score on the energy efficiency of its products would improve if it provided data on what proportion of its products exceeds the latest Energy Star standards and by how much. Apple’s web-site has been updated since this assessment was made.”

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