A Greener Apple
Apple has been criticized by some environmental organizations for not being a leader in re-
moving toxic chemicals from its new products, and for not aggressively or properly recycling
its old products. Upon investigating Apple’s current practices and progress towards these
goals, I was surprised to learn that in many cases Apple is ahead of, or will soon be ahead of,
most of its competitors in these areas. Whatever other improvements we need to make, it is
certainly clear that we have failed to communicate the things that we are doing well.
It is generally not Apple’s policy to trumpet our plans for the future; we tend to talk about
the things we have just accomplished. Unfortunately this policy has left our customers,
shareholders, employees and the industry in the dark about Apple’s desires and plans to
become greener. Our stakeholders deserve and expect more from us, and they’re right to do
so. They want us to be a leader in this area, just as we are in the other areas of our business.
So today we’re changing our policy.
Now I’d like to tell you what we are doing to remove toxic chemicals from our new products,
and to more aggressively recycle our old products.
Removing Toxic Chemicals
Many of the dangerous chemicals we all want to eliminate from
electronic products are found in very small amounts, but there’s one
toxic substance that some companies still ship by the pound, and
that’s the lead contained in their cathode-ray tube (CRT) displays.
A typical CRT contains approximately 3 pounds (1.36 kg) of lead. In
mid-2006, Apple became the first company in the computer indus-
try to completely eliminate CRTs. The effect has been stunning —
our first CRT-based iMac contained 484 grams of lead; our current
third-generation LCD-based iMac contains less than 1 gram of lead.
Apple completely eliminated the use of CRTs in mid-2006.
A note of comparison — Dell, Gateway, Hewlett Packard and Lenovo
still ship CRT displays today.
The European Union is generally ahead of the U.S. in restr