There are plenty of companies guilty of greenwashing. From crib mattresses to cosmetics, manufacturers around the world are flooding the market with products that contain small – virtually negligible – amounts of natural or organic substances hoping to cash in on the desire of consumers to save themselves and the environment from toxicity. But some companies are really taking the decline of environmental health seriously – Apple being one.
Apple made a very smart move a year ago. In May 2013, the company hired Lisa Jackson, Obama’s former EPA administrator. Big win for Apple.
Here are just a few of the company’s recent accomplishments:
- Their data center in Maiden, North Carolina is majorly powered by biogas fuel cells and two 20 megawatt solar arrays. It is the largest privately owned installation in the country, generating enough energy to power over 13,000 homes. Although there are days when 100% of their power is from this installation, they sometimes have to rely on other resources. But when they do, the extra energy is from completely clean sources. This facility is also Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum certified.
- In fact, 100% of Apple’s data centers (facilities that house the networked computer that store, profess and distribute voluminous amounts of information) – in North Carolina, Oregon, Nevada and California – are powered with renewable energy – as are 94% of their corporate facilities.
- Apple’s new corporate headquarters, currently under construction in Cupertino, CA, will use 30% less energy than equivalent conventional buildings. And the seven thousand trees on their new campus will turn carbon dioxide into the badly needed oxygen currently being robbed through deforestation.
- The new iPad Air uses a third less material overall by weight than the original iPad, and less material is also used in iPhones, iPods and Macs.
- Vilified for years over not providing recycling for their products, Apple now also accepts all used computers, iPads and iPhones for recycling. They even pay you to do it with gift cards in the both the U.S. and UK.
Apple has a ways to go – but they are leading the way, and fully committed. Check out the Environment section of their website for more info.
Is Apple going to make money on this? Absolutely – despite the huge investment. Rather, because of it. It’s what the planet needs, and it’s what people want. Their customers will be more than willing to pay a little more for their products because of their environmental activism.
If more companies would get the idea that doing the right thing will actually increase their profits, we’d see a lot more action.
At Naturepedic, we are similarly committed. Not only are our products non-toxic, our entire factory is certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Check our blog The Naturepedic Factory – What’s That Fresh Smell?
And stay tuned for more news on who is greenwashing, and who’s really serious about preserving earth’s natural resources, and keeping its occupants healthy.