Apple Drops Bombshell, Immediately Withdraws from U.S. Chamber

by | Oct 5, 2009

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apple green logoBecoming the first major consumer brand to make a big statement against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s position on climate change, Apple has decided to leave the organization.

In contrast to PG&E, PMN and Exelon, the utilities that in recent weeks announced their intention not to renew their chamber memberships, Apple is making its exit from the chamber effective immediately, reports the Washington Post.

In a letter to the chamber, Apple Vice President Catherine Novelli wrote, “Apple supports regulating greenhouse gas emissions, and it is frustrating to find the Chamber at odds with us in this effort,” the Post reported.

Apple’s move comes as companies increasingly are leaning on the chamber to quit fighting the general concept of climate change, as well as efforts to make emissions a more central part of the political dialogue.

Additionally, the companies are responding to the chamber’s call to put the science behind climate change on trial.

Last week, Nike signaled its displeasure with the chamber by giving up its seat on the chamber’s board of directors. At the time, Nike said it wanted the chamber to play a positive role in the climate change discussion.

“It is important that US companies be represented by a strong and effective Chamber that reflects the interests of all its members on multiple issues. We believe that on the issue of climate change the Chamber has not represented the diversity of perspective held by the board of directors,” Nike said.

In response to the fallout from companies leaving the business lobby, the Chamber of Commerce issued a statement, aimed at defending and clarifying its position.

Thomas Donahue, President and CEO of the chamber, said the chamber wants the U.S. and other nations to negotiate an international agreement that sets binding CO2 reduction commitments for each nation, “while allowing each to devise its own best path to meeting its target.”

Apple’s move comes as it seeks to clarify its efforts to cut emissions.

Responding to criticism over its past failure to disclose its emissions, the tech company last week revealed its total 10.2 million metric tons of emissions in its most recent sustainability report.

In April of 2007, Apple ranked dead last on Greenpeace’s ranking of green electronics manufacturers. Among other things, Greenpeace cited Apple’s refusal to disclose its overall emissions.

In this summer’s Greenpeace ranking, Apple was in the lower-middle of the pack.

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