With all of the time and energy we expend using computers, it makes sense that developing energy efficient alternatives should be a high priority for technology companies. And who better to grab the reins and innovate this category than Apple, reinforcing their commitment to bringing leading edge solutions to the forefront, and elevating the green ‘cool factor’ in the process.
Although Steve Jobs’ keynote on this topic did not impress environmentalists at the Macworld Expo last year, with Greenpeace contendors stating that that the company still had a long way to go to set any kind of environmental standard for the rest of the tech industry, this latest evolution of their Macbook series may change their minds. And while Apple is not the only computer company focusing on eco-issues, it is clear that their stance in the most recent ad introducing the ‘greenest family of notebooks’ that Jobs is vying for a leadership position in environmentally sound manufacturing.
So, what sets this new generation of laptops apart?
The commercial touts that it uses only a quarter of the power of a single light bulb, in addition to a glass and aluminum encasing that is 100% recyclable and is completely free of harmful toxins like mercury. Impressive.
In addition, Apple is committed to reducing their carbon footprint by ensuring that every new Macbook is designed with the following features:
+ Arsenic-free glass
+ Mercury-free LED-backlit display
+ Brominated flame retardant-free internal components
+ PVC-free internal cables
+ Highly recyclable aluminum and glass enclosure
+ Up to 41 percent smaller packaging
They have also made their Environmental 2008 Update and Performance available with full disclosures on their progress and the ongoing steps that they are taking in their manufacturing process — including documenting their eco-efforts at each of their individual facilities.
Strategically, it’s a sound business move, and one that has the potential to positively impact the environment, as well as Apple’s bottom line. It may also help to counteract some of the harmful effects of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic on the environment, two substances commonly found in consumer electronics, that are hazardous to the atmosphere — and to human health.
It also opens up the universe of customers for Apple. If the green set wasn’t already using Mac, this should surely tip the scales. Not to mention perpetuating the Mac image as forward-thinkers and visionaries vs. the tired, stale ‘suits’ and unimaginative methodologies that is fast becoming synonymous with many of the PC options.
Plus, the new Macbooks achieve Energy Star 4.0 compliance and received a gold rating from the Green Electronics Council. But 103 other notebooks were granted gold status as well, including Dell who is also getting in the green game with their energy efficient options and thermally optimized product line. They even offer an Energy Calculator that estimates a consumer’s annual savings by using their proprietary Energy Smart feature on your PC, as well as configuring a more efficient processor. And, of course, they are also striving to be ‘The Greenest Technology Company on the Planet.’
You can also compare green computer options across companies at Green Machine Shop that aggregates all of the latest advancements in green equipment and technology.
So, it looks like the market is still wide open for a contender to penetrate the green technology space, but what better way to spark important environmental breakthroughs than a little healthy capitalist competition?