It’s not the Apple news the world is waiting with baited breath to hear, but nevertheless, it’s good news for the Cupertino tech power house as Greenpeace reveals it’s environmentally ahead of the game.
In a new report measuring the tech giants progress towards greener gadgets, Apple has surged ahead of 16 leading consumer electronics brands to eliminate hazardous chemicals, reducing its energy footprint and building sustainable supply chains.
More than 50 per cent of the mobile phone market, represented by Samsung, Apple and Nokia, is now free from the worst hazardous substances: Polyvinylchloride (PVC) and Brominated flame retardants.
However, Apple remains the only company to have eliminated the use of these substances in all its products and recently announced promising further steps on chemical elimination in production.
“Apple has shown us a glimpse of a greener future, leading the sector on toxic-free products and starting to address the huge environmental footprint of electronics manufacturing,” said Greenpeace UK’s head of IT, Andrew Hatton, stroking a polar bear cub.
“But the industry still has a long road ahead of it before they’re giving customers the level of efficiency and sustainability they are asking for.”
Unfortunately, the report reveals that Samsung, the world’s biggest electronics company, has failed to meet its elimination goals for products beyond mobiles, joining Dell in backtracking on previous public phase out commitments.
Meanwhile, new players in the tablet and mobile markets continue to lag behind: Microsoft has dropped its previous phase-out commitment, and rival Amazon is failing to provide any information to the public.
The report identifies supply chain transparency and the elimination of all hazardous chemicals from across the supply chain as key next steps for the industry to Detox.
With 2014 sales of the most popular consumer electronics predicted to reach 2.5 billion products, such rapid growth has multiplied the industry’s environmental impact and raised crucial questions around the sustainability in the manufacturing process.
Design plays an important part in this system, as we have covered before, with the design team a key factor in ensuring the right materials and sustainable methods can be found.