Opposed to looking at a specific sustainability policy at a municipality level, I thought it would interesting to look at a shift in mission from a corporate lens. Apple, one of the largest tech companies in the world, has dramatically shifted their product’s focus to being more environmentally-friendly. From the types of materials being used to produce personal computers, phones, and media players to the types of materials being used in marketing/branding materials, Apple has fundamentally shifted the way their company operates. The company’s newest value has been reinforced through the hiring of a environmental policy strategist to coordinate the initiatives they wished to pursue. Because of this, Apple has rid the notion of its past and has now put policies in place to enhance the image of themselves and the world around them.
According to David Price of MacWorld, “Apple really did improve things. It stopped using arsenic, PVC and BFRs; the iPhone 3GS was free of all three. Its data centers are now based on renewable energy. (In 2012, Forbes reported on the company’s plans to build the world’s largest private solar array and fuel-cell farm for a new North Carolina data centre. In late 2016 Apple entered an agreement with a Chinese renewables firm to supply its Asian production facilities with wind power.) And after those accusations of secretiveness, the firm began to regularly publish product reports so consumers could check the materials used and the environmental damage done. You can read reports on Apple’s whole product range here” (Price, 1).
The issues of toxic/harmful materials, renewable energy, and climate change prompted the change in the company’s mission. The new policy push has ultimately eliminated much of the issues that initiated the concern to begin with, but on a LARGER scale. Now, consumers across the world are able to access progressive technology, while being conscious of the environment. The fact that Apple took no steps to combat this previously is devastating. But through the hard work of activism and lobbying, organizations have pushed Apple to change course on what comes next.
Who knows, maybe we will have an iPhone one day made from completely recycled materials.
Since this post can only be so long, I advise you, the reader, to dive into some of the following links to learn more about Apple, its mission, and their impact on the environment.