Here’s Why Apple Didn’t Get an ‘A’ in Latest Greenpeace Rating

Here's Why Apple Didn't Get an 'A' in Latest Greenpeace Rating
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Apple is well-known as one of the most environmentally friendly tech companies in the world. So why did it only get a B- rating from Greenpeace in a recent evaluation?

The environmental advocacy organization published its Guide to Greener Electronics on Monday, a resource that allows consumers some insight into the environmental practices of 17 tech companies. Greenpeace evaluated the firms for various criteria such as energy use and resource consumption. And Apple, for all of its eco-friendly initiatives, was awarded a B- by the NGO.

To be fair, the only company ranked higher than Apple is a little-known — and by comparison, tiny — manufacturer called Fairphone, a “social enterprise” company that specifically develops ethical devices with minimal environmental impact.

Apple was the only firm that was graded a B-, Fairphone got a B. For comparison, Google was awarded a C-, Apple competitor Samsung got a D-, and Amazon got a straight F.

The Good

Greenpeace lauded Apple for its commitment to using renewable energy, its efforts in reducing supply chain carbon emissions, and its transparency about the chemicals and materials that it uses in its products. The organization also commended Cupertino for its plans to shift its supply chain to renewable energy. According to Greenpeace, Apple is the only company to have set such a goal.

Apple also boasts using renewable energy at its own facilities (like its data centers, or its new Apple Park HQ) and is actively working toward a closed-loop supply chain. While the company’s overall grade was a B-, Apple received an A- for its environmental initiatives, a B for chemicals use, and a C for resource use.

The Bad

On that last note, Greenpeace largely attributed the poorer grade to a lack of third-party repairability for its devices and its use of proprietary components. Greenpeace also hit Apple for its efforts to limit access to repair resources and its active lobbying against “right to repair” legislation. A previous Greenpeace campaign targeted Apple, alleging that the company’s hard-to-repair devices shortens device lifespan and leads to more waste.

Despite its B- grade, Greenpeace has been ranked Apple as the most environmentally friendly tech company in the world for three consecutive years.

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