• 02.27.09

Apple the Least Green of Big Four IT Companies


“Of the big four IT companies — Apple, Dell, HP, IBM — Apple has
disclosed the least information and is the only one that has not made a
major commitment to carbon footprint reduction.” That’s the conclusion of the director of As You Sow, an organization which uses shareholder activism as a tool to promote sustainability and corporate social responsibility. The information that Apple does release is in an idiosyncratic format that makes it very difficult to compare with other companies’ products. The Carbon Disclosure Project releases a widely distributed and accepted survey to find out how companies are measuring and managing their carbon footprint. Apple deigned to answer only a few questions on the survey, scoring 7 on its disclosure vs. 91 for Dell and 88 for HP.


Apple is one of the most admired brands, both generally and among young people. The dean of climate change himself, Al Gore is one of Apple’s most prominent board members and fans. So what gives? Why doesn’t Gore exert more influence over the company to act and to disclose what it’s doing? 


About the author

She’s the author of Generation Debt (Riverhead, 2006) and DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education, (Chelsea Green, 2010). Her next book, The Test, about standardized testing, will be published by Public Affairs in 2015.