After taking a lot of public criticism from Greenpeace early in the last decade, Apple has redesigned its hardware and climbed up in the environmental rankings in recent years. Last year, Apple made it all the way up to number five on Greenpeace's Greener Electronics list. Unfortunately, as in so many other aspects of a highly competitive industry, standing still is akin to moving backwards.
While Apple's score of 4.9 on the Greenpeace index is the same as it was in 2009, other companies, including HP and Samsung, have improved significantly this year and pushed Apple down from fifth last year to ninth this year. Apple is called out for failing to state a public position on the EU Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electronics directive, as well as where it stands on the trade group TechAmerica. If Apple wants further improvement, it will also need to disclose more about chemical use in its supply chain and its plans for future improvements. Apple also needs to do a better job on e-waste recycling programs to dispose of older hardware.
Apple also quit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this year over the organization's stance on greenhouse gas emissions limits, but the Cupertino company has failed to publicly support mandatory reductions in emissions.