Shareholders Want a Greener Apple

Apr 28, 2007

In a filing with the SEC, a group of investors asks Apple to adopt better environmental standards for the manufacturing of the Mac.

A group of investors is looking for Apple to be a little greener.

In a letter sent to fellow shareholders April 26, Shelley Alpern, vice president of Trillium Asset Management, in Boston, is urging Apple to adopt greener policies in the manufacturing of its Macintosh line and other products.

"Apple has been at the forefront of many technology trends, not the least of which has been the very notion of getting people to 'think different,'" Alpern wrote in the letter, which is on file with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

"Yet one place where the management has failed to lead is on the issue of toxic chemicals in our products," Alpern wrote. "The proposal simply asks the management to assess the feasibility of new policies to eliminate the worst of the toxic chemicals - those that may threaten workers, the public and the environment."

The environmental group Greenpeace targeted Apple recently, accusing the company of not eliminating harmful chemical in the manufacturing of its products, including the Mac.

In its ranking, Greenpeace found that other PC vendors, such as Dell and Lenovo, have done a better job at eliminating the use of toxic chemicals. In public statements, Apple executives have disputed some of Greenpeace's assertions.

In his letter to other shareholders, Alpern is asking Apple executives to prepare a report within six moths of the May 10 shareholders meeting that details what the company will do reduce and then eliminate the use of brominated flame retardants and polyvinyl chloride in its manufacturing processes.

The letter indicates that Apple needs to address environmental issues in order to retain its share of the market.

"When electronic products become obsolete, they are often shipped to China, Africa,Latin America and other developing regions, where efforts to reclaim valuable metals create environmental and health problems as more toxins are released into the air, water and ground," Alpern wrote. "To maintain our market edge, we need to ensure that our products are no longer adding to that pollution load."

Despite environmental concerns, Apple's profits have continued to soar thanks to the performance and sales of its iPod music players and the Mac, along with the anticipation of new products such as the iPhone.

On April 25, Apple released its second-quarter financial numbers, which showed the company's net income hit $770 million with revenues of $5.17 billion. At the same time, Apple's board released a statement in support of CEO Steve Jobs in the face of charges from the SEC against two former company executives accused of backdating stock options.

In the wake of the SEC charges, former Chief Financial Officer Fred Anderson accused Jobs of knowing more about the backdating problems than the company had acknowledged.

In the letter, Apple's board wrote: "Steve Jobs cooperated fully with Apple's independent investigation and with the government's investigation of stock option grants at Apple … We have complete confidence in the conclusions of Apple's independent investigation, and in Steve's integrity and his ability to lead Apple."

Copyright 2007 by Ziff Davis Media, Distributed by United Press International

Explore further: Four questions about missing Malaysian plane answered

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Android gains in US, basic phones almost extinct

3 hours ago

The Google Android platform grabbed the majority of mobile phones in the US market in early 2014, as consumers all but abandoned non-smartphone handsets, a survey showed Friday.

SpaceX launches supplies to space station (Update)

4 hours ago

The SpaceX company returned to orbit Friday, launching fresh supplies to the International Space Station after more than a month's delay and setting the stage for urgent spacewalking repairs.

Recommended for you

Four questions about missing Malaysian plane answered

Apr 19, 2014

Travelers at Asian airports have asked questions about the March 8 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Here are some of them, followed by answers.

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

Apr 18, 2014

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...

Freight train industry to miss safety deadline

Apr 16, 2014

The U.S. freight railroad industry says only one-fifth of its track will be equipped with mandatory safety technology to prevent most collisions and derailments by the deadline set by Congress.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Hackers of Oman news agency target Bouteflika

Hackers on Sunday targeted the website of Oman's official news agency, singling out and mocking Algeria's newly re-elected president Abdelaziz Bouteflika as a handicapped "dictator".

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Easter morning delivery for space station

Space station astronauts got a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies. The shipment arrived Sunday morning via the SpaceX company's Dragon cargo capsule.