We always prefer to see things moving in the right direction rather than deteriorate. Some enviros might focus on the doom & gloom approach, which can also be a catalyst for positive change at times, but we prefer to look for solutions and give a pat on the back to those who are making progress, even if they still have ways to go.
Apple’s evolution over the past decade is a good example of this. From a company that was a whipping boy for environmental campaigners to one that is praised by Greenpeace, that hires Lisa Jackson – former head of the EPA – and is unique among big tech companies in running 100% of its online operations using clean energy (and it keeps adding more solar power capacity and banning more toxins from its products).
Flickr/CC BY-SA 3.0
The latest illustration that Apple seem to be ahead of the rest of the gadget-making competition comes from the Green Electronic Council’s EPEAT registry for tablets. Right now there are 135 tablet models that qualify for the “EPEAT gold” rating, and all of them are made by Apple (all the variants of the iPad) and only 1 is made by someone else, the DELL Venue 11 Pro 7139.
The various iPads received 22 points out of 27, while the DELL rated 21. Most points are lost in material selection, where the use of post-consumer recycled materials and bio-materials would help boost the score.
Of course, the EPEAT tablet registry is brand new and not static. Over time new tablets will no doubt qualify for a gold rating (we hope they all do), and the standards will be progressively tightened, making some tablets that use to qualify not good enough anymore.