The Greening of Apple?

Mac CEO Steve Jobs (finally) gets a thumbs up from Greenpeace.

A new banner with the words "A Greener Apple" cropped up on Apple Inc.’s website recently, linking to a personal letter from company founder and CEO Steve Jobs proclaiming that the company is finally going green. In the letter, Jobs writes that consumers, employees, shareholders and the industry "want us to be a leader in [green practices], just as we are in the other areas of our business. So today we’re changing our policy."

Apple’s first green move will be to phase out the worst chemicals in its products, brominated fire retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), by 2008—a full year earlier than Dell and other computer makers who’ve been praised for their green commitments.

Environmentalists have been pushing Apple to take more responsibility for the content of its products. Apple ranked dead last for the last two years in Greenpeace’s global green ranking of consumer electronics manufacturers for its use of BFRs and PVC and its lack of resolve on recycling.

Greenpeace is cheering Jobs" policy change with the message "Way to go Steve!" on its website. The group credits thousands of environmentally conscious Apple customers for tipping the balance on the issue for the company: "You’re the consumers of Apple’s products, and you’ve proven you make a real difference." And Greenpeace will be keeping an eye on the company to make sure it actually walks its green talk.

Sources: Greenpeace/Tasty Green Apple; A Greener Apple