Despite the two companies’ somewhat spotted history together, Greenpeace has awarded Apple four giant gold stars for its efforts to rid its products of brominated flame retardants (BFR) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). (BFRs and PVC have long been on Greenpeace’s hit list of environmentally unfriendly chemicals.) In fact, Apple received a large gold star—the highest rating Greenpeace gave out—in each of the four categories rated in its latest report: desktops, portables, cell phones, and displays. Of the six companies with products in all four categories, Apple was the only one to receive a large gold star in any category, and, in general, it blew away the other five. Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, and LGE received only one small gold star each.
Apple also made progress in Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics,where it now moves up into fifth place out of the 18 companies Greenpeace chose to rate. With a cumulative score of 5.1, Apple has moved up six places since July of 2009. Apple did lose points, however, for not providing “public positions” on some issues and not communicating future plans with regard to the elimination of certain chemical compounds.
Greenpeace has been riding Apple since as far back as 2006 when it issued a similar report and tried to light up the 5th Avenue Apple store in NYC with green flashlights in an attempt to bring Apple’s environmental failings into the spotlight. That same year, the organization went as far as making a mock Apple website lambasting the company. In 2007, Greenpeace tried another tactic by pressuring Al Gore (who is a board member at Apple) into changing the company’s ways. Though this certainly won’t be the last time we hear from Greenpeace, it’s nice to see the organization has finally let up a little thanks to Apple’s environmental improvement.