The National Center for Public Policy Research has doubled down on its criticism of Apple's sustainability programs. In a blog post, NCPPR CEO Amy Ridenour suggested that Apple is "greenwashing" itself, or faking its commitment to sustainability, and she suggested that Apple CEO Tim Cook may have even faked his outrage and anger during Apple's annual shareholder report last Friday.
Is Apple Greenwashing? Please...
Let me say right up front that Ms. Ridenour is wrong about Mr. Cook's reaction. As the guy who started the worldwide attention on Mr. Cook's angry response, I am supremely confident in my read on Mr. Cook and positive that for the first—and probably last—time, we saw an angry Tim Cook in semi-public.
Ms. Ridenour didn't offer any evidence that Mr. Cook was faking the whole thing, saying simple, "We wonder if Mr. Cook's outrage was feigned." Again, it wasn't, but she did offer a reason why he might have done so, saying:
Tim Cook didn't get paid some $40 million in 2013 because he's an environmentalist, but he is more valuable to Apple when he plays one on TV. As such, Tim Cook's statement may simply have been public relations. He looked nice and green, standing there, indignant that someone might think one of the world's most successful companies should focus on... business success.
So...Apple CEO Tim Cook, head of the world's most profitable technology company, is worth more to Apple when he's pretending to be an environmentalist. Ms. Ridenour doesn't explain how exactly this works, but she did trot out a series of straw men and false equivalencies that might make anyone who didn't actually consider her words believe that Apple is just faking the whole "green" thing.
What constitutes a "green" company is subjective, but it is hard to imagine that Apple qualifies. Minimalist packaging is a big priority within the sustainability movement. Apple's packaging is beautiful, but not minimalist.
This one is kind of weird, because Apple revolutionized PC packaging. Remember how PCs, or even an Apple Mac before Steve Jobs came back to Apple, were packaged. Multiple boxes within a large box, and sometimes, even two large boxes. Apple's packaging is the definition of minimalist in the world of technology.
In its environmental footprint, Apple even makes the financial case for reducing packaging, as summarized in this image:
Image made with help from Shutterstock.
The article continues with the NCPPR questioning Apple's environmental bona fides.