Peddler of broken dreams, Apple is refusing to say why it has delivered a huge snub to a campaign to make electronics greener. According to the Guardian, Apple's relationship with the Green movement has always been tense, but lately things had been improving.
That could change after Apple opted out on a voluntary labelling scheme which would have given a green ranking scheme for mobile phones on sale in Blighty. The scheme gives phones a rating of zero to five based on their environmental footprint and major manufacturers including Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Samsung have signed up. The network O2, which is launching the rating system said 93 per cent of the devices its customers use will be covered.
The scheme was launched in partnership with sustainability advisers Forum for the Future, and scores handsets on the ecological impact of their raw materials, the manufacturing process, packaging, how long they are likely to last, energy efficiency and how easy they are to reuse or recycle. Apple tried to direct hacks who were asking if Jobs' Mob had something it wanted to hide to reports penned by its tame press which indicated how environmentally friendly its products were.
Gary Cook, IT sector analyst for Greenpeace International said that some outfits did not like the idea because they felt it was giving away too much competitive advantage. “But consumers also deserve to know the full story. While Apple has recently made important strides in eliminating toxic chemicals from its products and the reporting of their environmental footprint, it still lags behind others in transparency," he pointed out.
Using the methodology, O2 rated the Sony Ericsson Elm the most sustainable mobile phone with 4.3 out of five. The reason the Elm did so well was because of its high score on "functionality"which kills off the need for separate devices such as a camera, MP3 player and satnav, saving the energy that would be required to make them.
This is fair enough but would not Apple have done very well on that score. It might be that it feared being ranked lower than other cheaper products on the grounds that Apple expects you to junk it every year and upgrade.
Seven phones tied in second place with a score of 4.0: the Nokia 1800, Nokia 6700, Nokia C7, Samsung GT-S8500, Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini, Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini pro and Sony Ericsson Zylo.