gGadget » Apple Expands Environmental Disclosures – Green Inc. Blog –

September 30, 2009, 9:30 AM | Green Inc.: Apple Expands Environmental Disclosures


Apple last week updated its Apple and the Environment Web site to include a life cycle impact section that, the company says, accounts for its total carbon footprint of 10.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

The emissions, organized by category, include those arising from manufacturing (38 percent); transportation (5 percent); product use (53 percent); facilities (3 percent); and recycling (1 percent).

“Because 53 percent of Apple’s greenhouse gas emissions are a result of the power our products consume, we design those products to be as energy-efficient as possible,” the company stated on its new Web site, adding that “Mac OS X even regulates processor activity between keystrokes, saving milliwatts of energy.”

A recent BusinessWeek article reported that carbon emissions for Hewlett-Packard and Dell were 8.4 million tons and 471,000 tons respectively. However, both companies “exclude product use and at least some manufacturing,” the article noted, and those companies “have said that including those factors would boost their carbon totals several-fold.”

Downloadable reports for all of Apple’s existing and recently retired products provide detailed breakdowns of each product’s environmental virtues (or shortcomings) — including whether it uses mercury-free LED displays or arsenic-free display glass. Also covered are the use of toxic substances like brominated flame retardants and polyvinyl chlorides, which are noxious when burned.

Apple says that all of its handheld products — iPhones and iPods — are now “PVC-free,” and that the majority of circuit boards and internal cables in its plastic-housed MacBooks are free of BFRs and PVCs. It also describes its remaining desktop, notebook, display and server products as being “BFR-free” and having “PVC-free internal cables.”

Asked whether any other electronics manufacturers are reporting the CO2 life-cycle impact for entire product lines, Casey Harrell, Greenpeace International’s toxics campaigner, said, “Not the way Apple is.”

“Others are doing some interesting reporting of their supply-chain emissions,” he added, “and HP is doing a lot of work there.”

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