Apple CEO Steve Jobs posts open letter ‘A Greener Apple,’ Macs with LED backlight tech coming 2007

Apple StoreApple CEO Steve Jobs has posted another open letter on the company’s website, this time focusing on Apple and the environment. The letter is titled, “A Greener Apple” and begins:

Apple has been criticized by some environmental organizations for not being a leader in removing toxic chemicals from its new products, and for not aggressively or properly recycling its old products. Upon investigating Apple’s current practices and progress towards these goals, I was surprised to learn that in many cases Apple is ahead of, or will soon be ahead of, most of its competitors in these areas. Whatever other improvements we need to make, it is certainly clear that we have failed to communicate the things that we are doing well.

It is generally not Apple’s policy to trumpet our plans for the future; we tend to talk about the things we have just accomplished. Unfortunately this policy has left our customers, shareholders, employees and the industry in the dark about Apple’s desires and plans to become greener. Our stakeholders deserve and expect more from us, and they’re right to do so. They want us to be a leader in this area, just as we are in the other areas of our business. So today we’re changing our policy.

Now I’d like to tell you what we are doing to remove toxic chemicals from our new products, and to more aggressively recycle our old products.

Included in the full text is the paragraph, “To eliminate mercury in our displays, we need to transition from fluorescent lamps to light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to illuminate the displays. Fortunately, all iPod displays already use LEDs for illumination, and therefore contain no mercury. We plan to introduce our first Macs with LED backlight technology in 2007.” [Bold emphasis added by MacDailyNews.]

Read Jobs’ letter in full here:

MacDailyNews Take: May open letters from Steve Jobs become a regular occurrence.

As we’ve repeatedly written regarding this issue: We’re all for a cleaner environment, but Apple ought to charge Greenpeace a PR fee. Mostly, Apple is guilty of being a very a popular brand name which these militant “environmentalists” use to generate free publicity.

Apple doesn’t sell dirty CRT monitors, like certain cheapo Windows-centric PC box assemblers. Apple uses rechargeable batteries in iPods, instead of having tens of millions of users constantly tossing AA batteries into landfills. Apple even offers purchasers of Apple Macs and Apple monitors free recycling of their old computer and monitor — regardless of manufacturer. The list goes on.

Information on Apple’s recycling programs and industry-leading environmental policies is available online at


  1. Great letter, Steve. Hopefully this will shut up all the environmental groups that have been spreading lies about Apple for way too long now. And either way, the info is now those out there who want to know Apple’s policies and plans.

  2. As stupid as their concrete claims have been, Greenpeace must still be given some marginal credit for stirring that particular pot.

    Apple’s secrecy did indeed bite themselves in this regard.

    Good response, all in all. Complete with easily quotable bullet points for the lazy press… ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    Not that it’s big news, but a near-concrete announcement of LED-driven displays is a nice confirmation.

  3. hey “X”

    Ya better get that Caps Lock thing taken care of .. You do know that it tends to stick, dont you ? ..

    Oh, and have you tried a steaming cup of hot chocolate in the evening ?? … Some say it helps you sleep at nite !

  4. I’m glad Apple has come out swinging on this. My treehugging self wasn’t happy to hear (obviously incorrect) reports on Apple’s horrible environmental record. Thanks for clearing things up, Steve.

    But one thing I wish he had mentioned is how many Apple products don’t end up in landfills.

    I know I and most of my friends not only have every Mac we’ve ever owned, we’re guilty of buying used Macs at flea markets and yard sales just to rescue them.

    There are also several places online that take used, even dead iPods, refurbish them and sell them again. That’s truly green recycling.

    On top of that, I tend to use my Macs an average of 8-10 years before replacing them. How often does an HP or Lenovo user replace their machine?

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