Apple published a letter from Steve Jobs, an Environmental Update, on Thursday. The update describes the recent progress Apple has made to protect the environment and describes a new, groundbreaking reporting system.
Mr. Jobs addressed the removal of toxic chemicals from the manufacturing process:
"Last year we announced the unprecedented goal of eliminating polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from Apple products by the end of 2008. We also pledged to remove mercury from our displays and arsenic from our display glass as we transition to more efficient light-emitting diode (LED) technology.
"The greatest of these challenges has been eliminating PVC and BFRs, which many other companies have only promised to phase out of certain parts like enclosures or printed circuit board laminates. In contrast, we are removing all forms of bromine and chlorine throughout the entire product, not just PVC and BFRs. Apple has qualified and tested thousands of components and mechanical plastics as bromine and chlorine free, and we are in the final stages of developing and certifying PVC-free power cables.
"In June 2007, Apple shipped a new 15-inch MacBook Pro which featured the industryis first mercury-free 15.4-inch LED display. In January 2008 we marked another milestone with the introduction of the MacBook Air, the worldis thinnest notebook and the first to ship with both arsenic-free display glass and mercury-free backlight technology. More recently we introduced our first BFR and PVC-free iPods and iPhone 3G with mercury-free displays. The new MacBook family features only LED displays and continues our progress representing the greenest notebooks weive delivered to date."
Mr. Jobs pointed out that Apple collected almost 21 million pounds "e-waste" in its recycling program in 2007.
Finally, Mr. Jobs described how Apple has developed a comprehensive program to measure the emissions produced at each stage of a productis life, from production to transportation, to consumer use and eventual recycling. For the first time, Apple is making that comprehensive information publicly available.
Apple maintains an environmental page which describes Appleis efforts as a whole and periodically points to updates such as the one above.