Apple touts its environmental bona fides in new promotional video

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 2015
Days after announcing new sustainability projects in the U.S. and China, Apple on Monday unveiled a new two-minute video highlighting the company's commitment to environmental responsibility.




Entitled "Better Starts Here," the video begins with a list of chemicals and additives --?BFRs, PCG, phthalate, beryllium, arsenic, lead, and mercury --?that the company leaves out of its products, a list likely familiar to anyone who has watched an Apple keynote. Apple goes on to say that its smaller, more efficient devices use up to 59 percent less power now than they did in the past, though the scope of that timeline is not precisely defined.

"We think about power, and how to power that power," the narrator says, segueing from products to Apple's rollout of renewable energy. "Because our ecosystem is part of a larger one."





The video shows Apple's new 40-megawatt solar plant in Hongyuan, China, which the company says will provide enough energy to power all of its stores and offices throughout the country. It also calls out Apple's hydroelectric plant in Oregon and the recently-announced purchase of 35,000 acres of forest for sustainable packaging strategies.

"We're learning more and more about new place where we can be better," the video concludes. "With renewable energy, hydropower, and forest preservation -- new ways in which we can leave the world better than we found it."

Apple began the "Better" environmental awareness campaign in April of last year, with a video narrated by company chief Tim Cook.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    propodpropod Posts: 67member
    Excellent Apple! Keep up the good work.
  • Reply 2 of 11
    revenantrevenant Posts: 620member

    i love how apple does its best to make sure that workers rights and conditions are being upheld, try their best to make sure raw materials are being extracted by workers in a way satisfying to some sort of regulation, try to get more renewable energy to their facilities, do not data mine- and still make great products (imo) and rake in the money and customer satisfaction and high resale value ... i could go on ... and people still b*tch and complain apple is not doing enough _________.

     

    the most responsible company that i know of-- keep doing what you are doing.

  • Reply 3 of 11
    The narrator is Lisa Jackson, Apple VP of Environment.

    The video is beautiful. The video team is killing it—I'm basing my view on this new video, the new MacBook's Design video, and the Apple Watch's Reveal video.

    revenant wrote: »
    the most responsible company that i know of-- keep doing what you are doing.
    I agree, I don't see any other (consumer electronics) company doing better than Apple in this area. If there are, it should be publicised more so other companies are "inspired" to follow (so to speak) and so we as consumers can have an easier time to pick which companies are environmentally conscious so we can support them and their efforts.
  • Reply 4 of 11
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,586member

    Yes and I wish more politicians who support environmental action would use Apple as an example proving that companies can be environmentally responsible, but still earn huge profits. 

     

    Even if one doesn't believe in man-made global warming, everything we do to help the environment improves our health and would reduce cancer rates and respiratory diseases if not other diseases as well. 

     

    I'm sure Apple isn't perfect, especially when it comes to rare earth elements, but they seem to be doing more than any other company.

     

    Having said that, in NYC, you get your electricity from Con Edison.   The bill is split into two parts, delivery and supply.   You can have another, supposedly green company supply your electricity, but that doesn't mean that the electricity delivered to your home or business is coming from that supply.   It just means that electricity supplied by that green company is supposedly getting added to Con Ed's total mix of electricity.  Apple's stores in NYC are getting the same electricity as everyone else gets.  Frankly, I've always been a bit suspect about this entire process and have to wonder if it's a scam.      

  • Reply 5 of 11
    Our government needs to help all companies achieve this type of excellence! I own a company that has 30 stores. 29 of the 30 markets do not offer any type of assistance for renewable energy. The ROI by itself doesn't work. We do not make enough profit to offset these on our own. It is sad as I would love to incorporate more green into what we do.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    blazarblazar Posts: 270member
    Consumer must demand and agree to pay more for environmentally sound products or the concept will fail over the long run.

    The environment is being sold as a product essentially...

    They should park an apple store in national parks so that folks actually know what they are "saving". To most people the "environment" is simply an abstraction... And that includes many "environmentalists". Release exclusive products there for visitors where some proceeds specifically help conservation?

    Making doing the right thing easy, fun, and cost effective is the way to go.
  • Reply 7 of 11
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    Environmentalism is often a fashionable and cheap virtue, particularly as selectively applied by Apple.

    Apple makes a big deal about supporting recycling, which means turning a pricey device back into mere pennies worth of raw material. Not accidentally, that reduces the supply of used Apple gadgets, forcing people to buy new.

    Meanwhile, with each year that passes, Apple makes their products more and more difficult to repair or upgrade, again forcing people to buy new and harming those unable to afford new products.

    Even what Apple touts above doesn't impress. Look at the bare brown dirt under that Chinese solar farm. That's no different from clear-cutting away a forest. Actually, it's worse. That clear-cut will be replanted in trees within months. This land will remain bare for years, perhaps losing much of its ability to grow green and living things. When you think solar, think of a vast parking lot but with solar cells rather than cars.

    Is Apple being fashionable? Certainly. Are Apple's corporate policies good for the earth? No, not really. They're mostly good for Apple's profitability and to impress silly people who can't see just how environmentally destructive these large-scale solar projects are.
  • Reply 8 of 11
    propodpropod Posts: 67member
    inkling wrote: »

    Even what Apple touts above doesn't impress. Look at the bare brown dirt under that Chinese solar farm. That's no different from clear-cutting away a forest. Actually, it's worse. That clear-cut will be replanted in trees within months. This land will remain bare for years, perhaps losing much of its ability to grow green and living things. When you think solar, think of a vast parking lot but with solar cells rather than cars.

    Is Apple being fashionable? Certainly. Are Apple's corporate policies good for the earth? No, not really. They're mostly good for Apple's profitability and to impress silly people who can't see just how environmentally destructive these large-scale solar projects are.


    ...an area of 254 km x 254 km would be enough to meet the total electricity demand of the world. The amount of electricity needed by the EU-25 states could be produced on an area of 110 km x 110 km. For Germany with a demand of 500 TWh/y an area of 45 km x 45 km is required, which concerns 0.03 % of all suited areas in North Africa (BMU, 2004b).

    http://m.dailykos.com/story/2014/06/25/1309388/-Solar-Panel-Acreage-Needed-to-Power-the-Entire-Planet-158-mi-x-158-mi
  • Reply 9 of 11
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,395moderator
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post



    Environmentalism is often a fashionable and cheap virtue, particularly as selectively applied by Apple.



    Apple makes a big deal about supporting recycling, which means turning a pricey device back into mere pennies worth of raw material. Not accidentally, that reduces the supply of used Apple gadgets, forcing people to buy new.



    Meanwhile, with each year that passes, Apple makes their products more and more difficult to repair or upgrade, again forcing people to buy new and harming those unable to afford new products.



    Even what Apple touts above doesn't impress. Look at the bare brown dirt under that Chinese solar farm. That's no different from clear-cutting away a forest. Actually, it's worse. That clear-cut will be replanted in trees within months. This land will remain bare for years, perhaps losing much of its ability to grow green and living things. When you think solar, think of a vast parking lot but with solar cells rather than cars.



    Is Apple being fashionable? Certainly. Are Apple's corporate policies good for the earth? No, not really. They're mostly good for Apple's profitability and to impress silly people who can't see just how environmentally destructive these large-scale solar projects are.



    Nice nit-picking.  What happens to the land stripped away to mine coal, probably the major generator of electricity in China.  Should Apple simply run it's Chinese operations on coal?  And I noticed you didn't pick up the 59% lower energy use by Apple products (early in the video).  That's something I've been seeing for years.  So if you use an iPhone, an iPad, etc, versus the competition, you are getting the same value in terms of computing power for a lot less energy.  Not a big deal in terms of the energy consumed by one smartphone or tablet, but these devices are used in the billions around the world.  Would be better if more of those in use were Apple products, wouldn't you say?

     

    And how about that recycling bit you mentioned.  Recycling is almost never about re-tasking a product at the same value level; it's about ensuring that the materials within the product are responsibly put back into use.  So who cares if a recycled iPhone is turned into pennies worth of raw materials once that iPhone's useful life is exhausted.  Oh, you do know that Apple reconditions those that are still viable.  But yeah, if you bring in an iPhone 3GS or earlier, it's going to get broken down into its component raw materials.  So what!  a bigger issue is how long an Apple product remains useful versus the cometition.  I'll wager Apple smartphones, tablets, computers, iPads, etc have significantly longer useful lives, all while consuming less energy per unit of computing power, than the aggregate competition.  

     

    When you set out to save the world, or education the rest of us about it, you should first understand what are the important metrics.

  • Reply 10 of 11
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,586member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blazar View Post





    They should park an apple store in national parks so that folks actually know what they are "saving". To most people the "environment" is simply an abstraction... And that includes many "environmentalists". Release exclusive products there for visitors where some proceeds specifically help conservation?

    Absolutely not - no Apple store (or any other kind of store, except perhaps for food/camping supplies) in the national parks.

     

    This is exactly what conservative Republicans want.   They want to turn the national parks over to the states who will have the freedom to lease the land to private developers, energy companies, etc.

     

    There are many other ways to educate the public about the national parks besides sticking an electronics store in there.    

  • Reply 11 of 11
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,586member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post



    Environmentalism is often a fashionable and cheap virtue, particularly as selectively applied by Apple.



    Apple makes a big deal about supporting recycling, which means turning a pricey device back into mere pennies worth of raw material. Not accidentally, that reduces the supply of used Apple gadgets, forcing people to buy new.



    Meanwhile, with each year that passes, Apple makes their products more and more difficult to repair or upgrade, again forcing people to buy new and harming those unable to afford new products.



    Even what Apple touts above doesn't impress. Look at the bare brown dirt under that Chinese solar farm. That's no different from clear-cutting away a forest. Actually, it's worse. That clear-cut will be replanted in trees within months. This land will remain bare for years, perhaps losing much of its ability to grow green and living things. When you think solar, think of a vast parking lot but with solar cells rather than cars.



    Is Apple being fashionable? Certainly. Are Apple's corporate policies good for the earth? No, not really. They're mostly good for Apple's profitability and to impress silly people who can't see just how environmentally destructive these large-scale solar projects are.



    Completely disagree on every issue EXCEPT the difficulty of repairing and upgrading Apple's products.   On that I agree.   Apple should design their products as they used to -where it's easy to replace batteries, memory and storage.   People would keep their machines longer.    On the other hand, when I go to electronics recycling events, the only Apple computers I usually see there are really, really old models, like original iMacs, etc.   At least 90% of the machines are old PCs and they're there for the purpose of having their parts recycled.  So I think that even though people wind up replacing their Macs sooner than they would have to if they were easily upgradable, I don't think most of those computers wind up in the trash - I think they get passed along.     

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