Apple speaks up on green issues

At the end of February, I noted the Greenpeace website:  as an interesting approach to encourage an environmental commitment from the icongraphic Apple brand.

Greenpeace links from this lookalike site to news that Steve Jobs has responded with a new policy to talk more about its environmental activities – even headlining this as a Greener Apple.

, like many commentators, believes Apple was maligned by Greenpeace, simply for not promoting its “leadership” in environmentalism.  I’m not convinced that a company as brand savvy as Apple was simply being modest previously.  However, this site proclaims:

If its [Greenpeace’s] campaign against Apple has had any effect, it’s merely on the surface and in terms of PR, not reality. Is Apple doing anything different? Not as far as I can see. What’s more important: walking the walk, talking the walk, or talking the talk? My money is on the former, whereas Greenpeace’s seems to be more concerned with the latter two.

This does make an important point about whether making a public statement is enough.  But now that Jobs has decided to talk more about the company’s “leadership” – gaining global headlines in the process – the pressure will be on to deliver.

Indeed, recently reported that Apple shareholders were urging for greater commitment to improving environmental performance. 

Apple probably aren’t the worst PC performer environmentally – but when you are the icon of choice for millions of customers, you have a certain responsibility.  One that it appears the management and shareholders now recognise.  

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Heather Yaxley PhD

Dr. Heather Yaxley is passionate about sustainable careers, reflective practice and professional development. I am a rhizomatic educator, practitioner, consultant, academic and scholar. As a qualified academic, I teach the CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and have experience teaching at various Universities. I run the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) and my own strategic consultancy. I was awarded by PhD researching Career Strategies in Public Relations by Bournemouth University in 2017. I'm a published author, with books, chapters and academic papers to my name.

2 thoughts on “Apple speaks up on green issues”

  1. “Talk” more is the key. I think something that has characterised the campaign is the way in which it was made very personal. Partly because mac users have a curiously human relationship with the equipment, but also because messages were aimed at Steve jobs and Al Gore, and ultimately prompted a personal repsonse.

  2. Absolutely – I do believe it could be good for Apple to be recognised as having strong values in this area, but there will need to be a lot of walking alongside talking. It is interesting for Greenpeace, who are promoting this as their victory – do they now support Apple or keep on criticising? Roger Martin’s Virtue Matrix paper from Harvard Business Review a few years ago was interesting in presenting how what is exceptional in responsibility soon becomes expected and so the level of “good” behaviour keeps on ramping up, especially if you’ve a public reputation to protect.

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