Judging by the beating it's taken lately, both from Greenpeace and some of its investors, you'd think Apple was more toxic than the one that knocked out Snow White. Meanwhile, the company counters that its wares are quite Granny Smith green, thank you -- and from my perspective, the company does have a pretty green track record.
That's not to say that Apple -- or any other electronics company -- is doing all that it can to be fully eco-friendly. But Apple seems to be unfairly getting a worse rap than anyone else.
Some background first: Last year, Greenpeace ranked Apple as being the fourth least eco-friendly electronics company. It even went so far as to single out Apple, launching a marketing campaign called "Green My Apple", aimed at the company's alleged environmental shortcomings.
Apparently, the campaign didn't work to Greenpeace's expectations: Earlier this month, the nonprofit declared Apple to be at the very bottom of the barrel, dinging the company for failing to make any progress in greening up its act.
And now, Apple is feeling some heat from its investors to detoxify its goods. At its next annual meeting, slated for May 10, Apple's shareholders will vote on a proposal to eliminate certain hazardous chemicals from its products.
The resolution, submitted by investment firm Trillium Asset Management, would require Apple to explore removing "persistent and bioaccumulative toxic chemicals, and all types of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics" from its products.
Notably, those are precisely the types of substances that Greenpeace considers when assigning eco-rankings to electronics companies.
Apple, meanwhile, continues to defend its environmental record. "Apple has a strong environmental track record and has led the industry in restricting and banning toxic substances such as mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium, as well as many BFRs," the company said in an e-mailed statement.