New power cables will make Apple products even more eco-friendly

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple's focus on creating "green" products has inspired its power and USB cable supplier, Volex, to switch to more environmentally friendly materials.



Volex will spend up to $6 million this year to produce halogen-free power cables that are less harmful to the environment when disposed, according to London Evening Standard (via GigaOm). The company will design and make new cables and will suffer a one-time cost as a result.



The report said the change is as a result of a "green push" by Apple. For years Apple has designed its products with the environment behind, and usually highlights the EPEAT, or Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, ratings of products at highly publicized keynotes.



Halogens included in electronic products can be a hazard to the environment if they are burned after they are thrown away. Burning halogen releases dioxins and furans into the atmosphere, which has caused concern in recent years as the presence of those chemicals has been growing in soil.



For years now, Apple has had a special section of its website devoted to the company's environmental footprint. It boasts that just 2 percent of the company's total carbon footprint came from facilities in 2010, while 98 percent came from product life cycle.









Even though Apple has made its environmental efforts well publicized, the company has still found itself under fire on occasion from groups like Greenpeace, which this year criticized a new data center the company built in North Carolina. But later last year, it was revealed that Apple plans to build a solar farm across from its North Carolina data center.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    I wish more companies would take this approach.



    It's also smart that Apple throws how green they are in your face at every turn. If they're gonna be green, they might as well get the advertisement for it (I mean- who just does it because its the right thing).
  • Reply 2 of 14
    Well ... Apple approach is to get rid of cables ... so , yes, in that respect, nothing can be more user friendly ...
  • Reply 3 of 14
    They would get more credibility if they could reduce the SAR rating.



    It's obviously not bad enough to get a cauliflower ear but it is still relative high risk.
  • Reply 4 of 14
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Andysol View Post


    I wish more companies would take this approach.



    It's also smart that Apple throws how green they are in your face at every turn. If they're gonna be green, they might as well get the advertisement for it (I mean- who just does it because its the right thing).



    Yes, more companies should do their damnedest to be green. But I believe Apple and I am sure others, do it first and foremost because it is the right thing. Its long term-ism. People and companies who scoff at environmentalism are stupid. Not everyone can afford to take the steps they ought to but for any profitable company not to try their best to minimize their ecological footprint is pretty inexcusable today. That you can advertise the fact that you do and gain trust and customer loyalty as a result is par for the course. Be nice and people like you, right?
  • Reply 5 of 14
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    Yes, more companies should do their damnedest to be green. But I believe Apple and I am sure others, do it first and foremost because it is the right thing. Its long term-ism. People and companies who scoff at environmentalism are stupid. Not everyone can afford to take the steps they ought to but for any profitable company not to try their best to minimize their ecological footprint is pretty inexcusable today. That you can advertise the fact that you do and gain trust and customer loyalty as a result is par for the course. Be nice and people like you, right?



    yup.
  • Reply 6 of 14
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aBeliefSystem View Post


    They would get more credibility if they could reduce the SAR rating.



    It's obviously not bad enough to get a cauliflower ear but it is still relative high risk.



    You lost me. What are you referring to? Thanks.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    How about making the USB dock cables less flimsy?



    I have a couple from 2005-2006 (back when they had locking plugs) that are still in great shape after years of use and abuse. Yet the newer ones that came with my iPhone and previous iPod Nano are already falling apart.



    What good is making slightly "greener" cables if users have to throw out and replace them four times as often?
  • Reply 8 of 14
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by malax View Post


    You lost me. What are you referring to? Thanks.



    SAR = Specific Absorption Rate. How much radiation a body is absorbing from electromagnetic emissions.



    In the United States, mobile handset manufacturers are required by law to post these ratings.



    Some people think that excessive amounts of EMF radiation can cause health problems. There have been a number of studies positing yes or no, but to date, there are too many contradictory findings to merit a conclusive verdict on the matter.



    If you are concerned about such matters, you can minimize EMF by using a headset with your cellphone. A wired headset will naturally transmit less EMF than a Bluetooth headset.



    That said, reducing SAR ratings and EMF emissions has more to do with healthful use by the device operator, not how the environment is impacted during the manufacturing process and when the item is disposed of. Reducing SAR would not have impact on Apple's cute little eco-chart above.
  • Reply 9 of 14
    rbryanhrbryanh Posts: 263member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Andysol View Post


    I wish more companies would take this approach.



    It's also smart that Apple throws how green they are in your face at every turn. If they're gonna be green, they might as well get the advertisement for it (I mean- who just does it because its the right thing).



    If we were all judged for our motives rather than our actions, is there a one of us who wouldn't come off as absolute gutter slime?



    It's enough that I occasionally manage to do the right thing. Why I do it is between me and the God I don't believe in.
  • Reply 10 of 14
    rbryanhrbryanh Posts: 263member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zorinlynx View Post


    How about making the USB dock cables less flimsy?



    I have a couple from 2005-2006 (back when they had locking plugs) that are still in great shape after years of use and abuse. Yet the newer ones that came with my iPhone and previous iPod Nano are already falling apart.



    What good is making slightly "greener" cables if users have to throw out and replace them four times as often?



    Of course if we extent that line of argument, we'd have to ask what could possibly be responsible about manufacturing millions upon millions of tiny toxic devices, every one of which will be obsolete in 18 months and discarded within 5 years.
    My candle burns at both ends;

    It will not last the night;

    But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends

    It gives a lovely light!
    Do we imagine Edna St. Vincent Millay knew she was writing the epitaph of an entire species?



    Cheer up. As somewhat self-aware beings trapped in pitifully finite bodies, we've always been the butt of a terrible joke. It's unreasonable to expect too much of us. Everyone and everything dies, and it's hardly surprising our rage leads us to take everything we can touch with us.



    It's ok if we don't make it. The universe can dream up infinite quantities of absolutely anything, and our conviction that we're somehow central to anything at all is nothing more than the vanity of a toddler.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    mactacmactac Posts: 315member
    I want to see Apple go green by making a mid range desktop where I don't have to throw away the screen when I upgrade the computer.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rbryanh View Post


    Of course if we extent that line of argument, we'd have to ask what could possibly be responsible about manufacturing millions upon millions of tiny toxic devices, every one of which will be obsolete in 18 months and discarded within 5 years.
    My candle burns at both ends;

    It will not last the night;

    But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends

    It gives a lovely light!
    Do we imagine Edna St. Vincent Millay knew she was writing the epitaph of an entire species?



    Cheer up. As somewhat self-aware beings trapped in pitifully finite bodies, we've always been the butt of a terrible joke. It's unreasonable to expect too much of us. Everyone and everything dies, and it's hardly surprising our rage leads us to take everything we can touch with us.



    It's ok if we don't make it. The universe can dream up infinite quantities of absolutely anything, and our conviction that we're somehow central to anything at all is nothing more than the vanity of a toddler.



    Bravo!
  • Reply 13 of 14
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTac View Post


    I want to see Apple go green by making a mid range desktop where I don't have to throw away the screen when I upgrade the computer.



    Tip: Sell or donate your used iMac.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by umrk_lab View Post


    Well ... Apple approach is to get rid of cables ... so , yes, in that respect, nothing can be more user friendly ...



    I'm assuming the 50% savings they've made are by making cables 50% shorter.



    Seriously - how long is the iPad usb/power cord? Not very.
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