Steve Jobs promises a “Greener” Apple

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Cupertino (CA) - Apple chief Steve Jobs is promising a more environmentally friendly Apple in a new open letter title “A Greener Apple ”.  He says the company will eliminate toxic chemicals such as lead, cadmium and arsenic from its consumer electronics, monitors and computers.  Jobs also will expand Apple’s recycling program and promised that, in a few years, the company will recycle more material than Dell or HP.

Jobs says Apple is ahead or will be ahead of many computer companies in eliminating toxic chemicals and recycling computer parts.  In the letter, Jobs says that Apple has “completely eliminated” CRT monitors which could contain as much as 3 kilograms of lead.  Currently Apple’s LCD iMac monitors less than one gram of lead.  He added that Dell, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo still sell CRT displays.

Jobs continued bashing major PC vendors by saying that Apple fully complies with the European Unions laws against heavy metals like Cadmium and Chromium.  Other companies, according to Jobs, claim they comply because of legal loopholes and exemptions.  “Apple products met both the spirit and letter of the RoHS restrictions on cadmium, hexavalent chromium and brominated flame retardants years before RoHS went into effect,” said Jobs.

Recycling will play a big part in Apple’s green initiative and Job says the company currently recycles approximately 13 million pounds of electronic waste a year.  That number will grow significantly and he claims that by 2010 the company could be recycling “significantly more” than Dell or HP.

The environmental activist organization Greenpeace has been hounding Apple about its alleged unsafe environmental practices and last year created a spoof Apple site called greenmyapple.org.  Last month the organization released its latest “Guide to Greener Electronics” which put Apple in last place for environmental friendliness.  As you can expect, Greenpeace is now declaring a limited victory on their GreenMyApple website.

Until now Apple has taken a low-key approach with the Greenpeace folks and even Jobs agrees that Apple could have done more to communicate its intentions.  “It is certainly clear that we have failed to communicate the things that we are doing well,” said Jobs.

Some consider Steve Jobs to be the master of the open letter.  Back on February 6th 2007 his letter on the dangers of DRM-protected music title “Thoughts on Music” made the rounds around the web and generated a flurry of press.