Is Apple the model of a sustainable company?

“Here’s an overlooked metric among the hundreds available for evaluating how sustainable a company is: The ability to scale change far beyond its own organization,” Cary Krosinsky writes for Bloomberg.

“The model sustainable company generally looks like this. It has a phenomenal track record of stock growth and a full bucket of cash. It militantly roots out inefficiency from its operations and supply chain and invents new products that take into account social change and resource availability,” Krosinsky writes. “It increases the transparency of its operations and invites outside scrutiny to make sure it’s in compliance with the highest legal and social standards.”

Krosinsky writes, “Factor in the ability to scale change and the rankings change dramatically. The model company, in short, might be Apple.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

29 Comments

  1. Cary, the only question that needs to be asked is:

    ‘Is Apple still making cutting-edge products that people want to buy?’

    If ‘yes’, then buy stock. If ‘no’, then sell.

    Stop ‘over-thinking’ it; and stop with the jargon.

    Supply & demand. It’s not that hard.

    1. Perfectly said. No magic here. Not so long ago Apple was not doing so well and enjoyed a 17 year hiatus from having to pay dividends. No doubt that most companies would excel if granted the same option. This said, Apple is on a great run of marketing it’s products as “you need to have it” and that is part of their genius a similar genius once enjoyed by the likes of Sony, Panasonic, Nintendo etc…

  2. Anybody remember back in the old days when Apple was a computer company?

    The old Apple could have delivered a new Mac Pro that businesses would have lined up to buy.

    1. But times have changed. Companies don’t want to pay for some overpriced desktop computer. Apple can barely sell any Mac Pros to anyone and I don’t think it’s just because they’re not being updated frequently. Maybe there just isn’t much of a need of powerful computers as there was in the past.

      1. Apple doesn’t sell lots of of Mac Pros for a couple of reasons:
        1- Apple does not seriously try to sell to enterprise.
        2- Apple’s chicken shit EULA denial of liability in any high risk activity.
        3- Most business use of a computer can be handled by thin client or low grade computers.
        4- Apple’s ignorant resistance of at least a minimal roadmap to let institutional and business users make informed decisions regarding deployment of computers.
        5- The high minimum price for a tower computer that can be easily customized. Many specialized uses of workstations require more powerful graphics cards and connections than the mickey mouse consumer grade crap on an iMac and the Mac Pro is overpriced.

      2. PAP’s reply was, well, like most of PAP’s replies strong on opinion and almost totally lacking on fact.
        I think that it is because it is a workstation (dell & HP don’t sell many workstations either. Most of the apple haters are totally confused by apple’s line because they don’t understand that big box≠workstation. Workstations are designed for an entirely different set of working conditions & specifications.
        Over the years desktop computers (like the iMac or the big boxes H & Dell produce) have gained more than enough capability to do 95% (or more) of what business needs. What is left is the 5% of the market. The workstations are simply being squeezed from the bottom.

        1. “PAP’s reply was, well, like most of PAP’s replies strong on opinion and almost totally lacking on fact.”
          I use workstations every day on the Job and have since you were riding a Big Wheel in your daddy’s driveway. Every point I listed is well documented and known by people who get out of mom’s basement.

          A large part of the workstation market is now turnkey installation and people who sell such like roadmaps, open communication with the vendor and dislike EULAs that say don’t do anything of consequence with this product.

          Said Chickenshit Apple EULA:
          “THE APPLE SOFTWARE IS NOT INTENDED FOR USE IN THE OPERATION OF NUCLEAR FACILITIES, AIRCRAFT NAVIGATION OR COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS, LIFE SUPPORT MACHINES OR OTHER EQUIPMENT IN WHICH THE FAILURE OF THE APPLE SOFTWARE COULD LEAD TO DEATH, PERSONAL INJURY, OR SEVERE PHYSICAL OR ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE.”
          http://store.apple.com/Catalog/US/Images/MacOSX.htm

          Talk about writing off whole industries.

          1. Dude, I am embarrassed for you…
            You can’t (shouldn’t) use a SMP OS in an situation where human life could be in peril due to a “pause” in allocated resources. This is true for ANY os that allocates resources to applications (programs), that is why they use (or should) dedicated real time (and fault tolerant) hardware and software for such applications. Anyone using windows (or OS X) in process control situations where human life is imperiled is an idiot and is endangering those lives and is subjecting his organization to massive liability.

            It isn’t chickens shit you idiot, it is prudent advice.

            1. Only by idiots, who either don’t give a crap about peoples safety, (or are completely ignorant about OS architecture) Either way they are opening their companies up to huge liability. I wouldn’t swear to it but I am sure the MS EULA has provisions NOT to use the OS in these kind of situations. It is just plain stupid.

            2. Well, that would include most manufacturers of Medical equipment, including GE, Philips, Toshiba, Carestream (successor to Kodak), Hitachi, Siemens, lots of others.

            3. You basic lack of understanding here is causing you to act like a 12 year old. Simply listing a string of fortune companies means nothing. Windows is not a real time system and is therefore not suitable for process control particularly where human life or great environmental damage is involved. You can use it (or virtually any OS FTM) to monitor real time systems. Applications running on OTC multitasking systems are just not reliable enough for the task (as they can pause when the kernel is allocating resources).

    2. The old days? The Mac Pro is five-years old, gary! The old Apple couldn’t have delivered a Mac Pro to save their lives.

      This is the longest dry spell between iterations, however, I think it’s important going forward for Apple to secure a robust mobile platform (the future) before revisiting the role of Macintosh in the big picture. Who can deny Pro users are especially important to Apple going forward? They’ve always had input to the platform and none of that is going to change. In fact, I believe Apple NEEDS these folks going forward, to carry on providing the right tool for the job. It will be the Pros who will give Apple their blessing to kill the desktop.

      I see no future for Apple in desktop computers beyond 2018, at which time solar-powered portable computing power will rival today’s desktops. Mac Minis are the new desktop, but they’ll be serving up really thin clients.

      If Apple continues to pioneer the desktop, the PC world will enjoy a small reprieve. However, if Apple drops the desktop from its lineup, that will absolutely send a shockwave through the tech sector AND the Street and perhaps make people wonder for the first time, is a desktop really necessary in the home?

      I doubt if workstations will be here for another twenty-five years but their evolution will continue to evolve, but the public won’t be buying them, because they won’t have a use for them anymore.

      Imagine how the new MacBook Pro will evolve in the next five-years? I see Apple eventually dropping “Book” from the name, giving us a Mac Pro, once again.

  3. This looks like he made a list of all the things that Apple is good at then came up with a ‘metric’ built around it.
    Why not throw in, “The CEO has to thin, grey, and speak with a sudden drawl”?

  4. That may be the navel gazing business press idea of sustainable, but the more important definition of sustainable is from the late Ray Adnderson:
    “taking nothing from the earth that is not rapidly and naturally renewable, and doing no harm to the biosphere.”

    A company that flies iPods, iPhones and iPads from China all over the world is hardly sustainable.

    http://www.inc.com/magazine/20061101/green50_industrialist.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Anderson_(entrepreneur)

  5. Greenpeace is a pack of clowns. Don’t tell me that all Greenpeace idealists drive cars without any carbon-producing pollutants; that their homes are powered by wind or solar energy or they don’t consume as prolifically as the general population. It’s easy to be an holier-than-thou pontificator pointing one finger at other without realizing that five fingers are pointing back at oneself.

    1. I do not recall anyone raising Greenpeace. Ray Anderson was the founder of Interface- the largest company in it’s business that he built from scratch.

      In 1994, the company embarked on a 2025 goal of “taking nothing from the earth that is not rapidly and naturally renewable, and doing no harm to the biosphere.” They are now more than 2/3rds of the way toward that goal and are still the largest in their business.

      Along the way they have found that being earth friendly means profit as waste (pollution) is the byproduct of inefficiency. Becoming more environmentally friendly has made it a more profitable company.

      Being pro-environment does not mean being anti-business. It means thinking different ad acting upon it.

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