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An Apple a day keeps the energy bills down

January 17, 2010

I am no Apple fan girl.. okay I am an Apple fan-girl.  After writing the post Nokia on top – Nintendo at the bottom and finding out that Apple was 5th on the Greenpeace scorecard of electronics firms (I so wanted it to be the first), I did a little digging of my own to find out more about Apple’s environmental policies.

Following the fashion of its ever-elegant design, Apple has devoted a section of its website to Apple and the Environment.  Here Apple reveals the story behind its environment footprint, its policy on energy efficiency and environmental reports on each one of its products.  Here you can click on any one of the products, including computers and iPods, and it will download a beautifully formatted three-page report.  I reviewed the report of my MacBook Air, which is the most energy efficient laptop computer at Apple. The report includes the following categories:

Climate Change shows which part of the product the most greenhouse gas emissions are generated from. This is divided into production, transportation, recycling and usage.

  • MacBook Air emissions are 47%, 9%, 1% and 43%, respectively.

Energy Efficiency describes the power consumption of the chosen product.

  • When idle with the display on my computer only uses 10.9Watts of energy!

Material Efficiency highlights the materials used in the product and for packaging.

  • The packaging of a MacBook Air is free from expanded polystyrene and uses corrugated cardboard made form a minimum of 25% post-consumer recycled content.

Restricted Substances indicates what harmful substances are not used in the production of the product.

  • My computer has mercury-free display, arsenic-free glass, brominated flame retardant (BFR)-free and all internal cables are PVC-free.

Recycling shows Apple’s policies on recycling

I wish other companies would follow suite and provide such easy-to-find-and-understand information for their products.  Apple might not be at the top and marketing may play a role in the development of this site, but I sure appreciate the openness they have provided.

Ironic Update: Before I could post what I wrote above, I was forwarded an article from Fast Company which states that Apple has been asked to reveal more about its environmental policies but it has refused to do so saying that it has already revealed enough.  Maybe this is being said about  Apple because they are Apple, or maybe not.  Apple should reveal what they are legally required to reveal, but looking at their environmental website, I have never come across something so comprehensive and user-oriented from another company.  Other companies could learn from this format of reporting.

-by Noerah

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 29, 2010 9:50 am

    I was actually thinking about this report you did the other day when Apple released the press on the iPad. I don’t use Apple as a home computer, mostly just because of the cost (but do a fair amount of everything in wi-fi distance from my trusty 1st generation 8Gb iPod touch…).

    While it’s good to have the company transparency, think of all of the unused electronics that are piling up when Apple releases the next “Must Have” device! I actually know people that buy new stuff every time it’s available! Apple products do seem to have the durablity if you take care of them. My iPod touch is more than 3 years old, and the only problems I have are space constraints, but it’s still not a motivator for me to upgrade to the iPhone.

  2. January 30, 2010 2:03 pm

    You are right.. there are people who buy the Apple products as soon as they come out. Since a year and a half I have become one of them. It all started with my iPhone and then I converted to a Mac. I will probably in line the first day when the the iPad 3G is released three month from now! While its true that the sex appeal of Apple’s products entices the weak minded, its products are more durable than most manufacturers. For those who wish to stick to one of their products can use it for years and not feel the need for the next best thing. Even though the batteries of an iPod are not replaceable at home, it can be sent elsewhere to be replaced in a few years when they don’t hold their charge as long.

    I love Apple’s design aesthetics and the user interface. I used to carry a cell phone, a pda and an iPod and didn’t have access to email on the go. I think only Apple could combine these four functions so gracefully into one beautiful device. Sounds like I have drank the Apply coolade and its look late for me for change! lol

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