As you’ve likely read by now Steve Jobs, the man that brought Apple back from the grave to become a leader in computers and consumer technology, has passed on. Jobs leaves many legacies and discussions will be had in days, weeks and even years ahead about how much of a technological visionary he really was. The question we ask here is – what about his contributions to green technology?
Apple certainly has had its share of controversy heaped on it by the likes of Greenpeace, which over the years has called out the company for things like the use of coal to fuel data centers and toxic chemicals in its popular products. The company, under Jobs’ leadership, made great strides to address these issues. In a 2009 interview with BusinessWeek, Jobs addressed the greening of Apple, noting that “the impact of products, not the emissions of factories, is what counts, and that it’s time to focus on a company’s results, not its lofty goals.”
Jobs himself took to the Internet to promote Apple’s greening, posting a lengthy document about his company’s efforts to be greener. Noting that Apple’s stakeholders wanted the company to be a leader in this area, Jobs outlined in detail the steps being taken – or already taken – to green its products. The results of the detailing showed the company to be a leader in the greening of consumer technology.
It is very common today for Apple to post an environmental scorecard of sorts with every new product it debuts, be it the latest Apple iPad or a new MacBook. These scorecards show time and again what green practices are made towards products that, by nature of what makes them up, harbor many non-green elements. Common choices by Apple under Jobs’ leadership for greening these items included meeting various energy efficiency standards and containing significantly reduced chemicals in the device’s physical aspects.
Apple, as well, also rebooted its e-waste recycling program to make it one of the most consumer friendly in the industry. It has also looked beyond greening its products to the actual footprint of its headquarters, with plans in the work for a new facility described as being ultra-green in nature.
TreeHugger, after Jobs stepped down in late August of this year from his role as Apple’s CEO, made mention of five noteworthy green moments during the Jobs era. it is a good read to see what green legacy he leaves behind. It is noted Apple still has a ways to go before it is the greenest consumer technology products company out there – which is something we concur with as well.
The question now becomes – with Jobs no longer at the helm, will Apple continue his desire for a company that not only puts out great products, but one which strives to make them greener as well?