The Apple faithful are frothing at the mouth about last week's blog by Dell Vice President of Communities and Conversations Bob Pearson suggesting that new MacBook may not be as green as the Apple ads suggest.
After consulting with the various Dell environmental teams, Pearson decided to start a "conversation about the real meaning of being green from the viewpoint of a Fortune 500 company."
Pearson's main points were as follows (paraphrased to remove any vitriol):
1. Be part of an industry-wide dialogue about environmental issues and strategies.
2. Make plain your corporate environmental goals and strive to achieve them.
3. Focus your energies on actions, not rhetoric.
All are good points but at the same time pretty innocuous. And all have been refuted by Apple supporters in the blogosphere, some politely and some not so. So ho hum, the war of words will go round and round for a few more days until someone else sends another salvo across the bow and the "dialogue" moves on to something else. What a great way to make a living.
So here's my little salvo. Pearson should take his own advice and the Apple zealots should get off their high rhetorical horses. The fact is both companies need to step up their respective commitments to going green because both can do better.
For evidence I turn to those nutty left-wing radicals at GreenPeace. In its December "Guide to Greener Electronics," GreenPeace offers its quarterly evaluation of environmental performance for the top 18 global PC, mobile phone, TV, and game console makers. Its ratings are based on three criteria
1. Clean up your products by eliminating hazardous substances
2. Take-back and recycle your products responsibly once they become obsolete
3. Improve your corporate policies and practices with respect to Climate and Energy
These criteria seem pretty sensible to me as the do to a few governments around the world including the EU, Japan, and California, to name a few. But not surprisingly, the GreenPeace report reported that very few electronics companies are showing true climate leadership.
As GreenPeace reported...
"Despite many green claims, major companies like Dell, Microsoft, Lenovo, LG, Samsung and Apple are failing to support the necessary levels of global cuts in emissions and make the absolute cuts in their own emissions that are required to tackle climate change."
Nokia got the highest marks with a 6.4 out of 10 and was sited for its comprehensive take-back program. Sony Ericsson and Toshiba followed with scores of 5.9. As for Apple and Dell, both came in batting below 500.
According the GreenPeace...
"The big PC companies such as Dell, HP, Apple and Acer drop down. Dell continues to be overtaken by other companies, with an unchanged score of 4.7. Although Apple drops a place, it improves its overall score slightly to 4.3, with much better reporting on the carbon footprint of its products. Apple has also recently show leadership on removing the worst toxics substances with new iPods free of toxics brominated flame retardants and PVC. All Apple products should be free of these substances by the end of 2008, which will challenge other PC makers to follow their lead."
So Dell and Appl: stop bickering and put your passion, creativity, and smarts to work to drive constructive change.