FORTUNE -- Apple (AAPL) continues to come under pressure from environmentalists and human rights groups to clean up its act.
Currently making the rounds on college campuses is filmmaker Heather White's Who Pays the Price, a 9:30-minute video that begins in the style of a soft-voiced Apple promo ("This is what matters. The experience of a product. Will it make life better...") but quickly shifts gears into tales of benzene poisoning that are almost too painful to watch.
As if on cue, Apple on Monday released the attached video, titled "Better," in which a narrator who sounds a lot like Tim Cook stresses Apple's commitment to minimizing its environmental footprint.
Can both messages be true? Sure they can.
Like all the electronic devices we take so much for granted, the manufacture of Apple's products involves the use of toxic solvents and who knows how much electrical energy.
But it's also true that Apple has made as big a public commitment -- if not bigger -- to reducing those costs as any of its competitors.
One economic concept illustrates how local pressure could compel the government to act.
By Pankaj Ghemawat
FORTUNE -- A cloud will hang over the upcoming plenum of the Chinese Communist party in Beijing -- literally. It is late fall, and so pollution levels in China's capital as well as in other of its cities, always high, are going to go through their usual seasonal surge. The NASA Earth Observatory just announced MORENov 7, 2013 11:08 AM ET
"If more people had vegetarian or vegan diets, especially in the developed world, the environmental impact would be significant," says the Nature Conservancy CEO.
FORTUNE -- Mark Tercek is president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy, an organization dedicated to protecting environmental resources and mitigating threats to conservation. He is the co-author of the best-seller Nature's Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature. Before joining The Nature Conservancy five MOREChanelle Bessette - Nov 5, 2013 2:12 PM ET
Apple is now one of the most aggressive tech companies in adopting progressive environmental policies in China.
FORTUNE -- Ma Jun, the noted Chinese environmental activist, says Apple has gone in a short period of time from being the most uncooperative of electronics companies to "one of the most proactive IT suppliers" of all.
Speaking at a panel on supply-chain trends at the Fortune Global Forum in Chengdu, China, Ma practically gushed about Apple's MOREAdam Lashinsky, Sr. Editor at Large - Jun 7, 2013 7:22 AM ET
Industry experts offer fixes for some of the green world's thorniest issues: solar expansion, recycling, establishing standards, and feeding the world's growing population sustainably.
FORTUNE -- Sometimes the best way to make a real breakthrough is to set an impossible goal.
Think of President John F. Kennedy's 1961 speech in which he called for the United States to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. Many dismissed MOREBrian O'Keefe - May 9, 2013 2:49 PM ET
Do investors care about a company's environmental risk? Three high-profile investors debated this topic at Fortune's Brainstorm Green conference.
By Leigh Gallagher, assistant managing editor
FORTUNE -- A trio of high-profile investors debated the investment community's acceptance of environmental risk in a late afternoon panel at Fortune's Brainstorm Green conference in Laguna Niguel, Calif., earlier this week. David Blood, cofounder of Generation Investment Management, Goldman Sachs' Abby Joseph Cohen and asset MOREMay 2, 2013 4:02 PM ET
The environmental movement generally lacks an appreciation for the imperatives of business.
FORTUNE -- Peter Seligmann, the chairman and CEO of Conservation International, has a solution for our environmental ills: He wishes companies didn't have to report quarterly earnings. It's a familiar refrain for many who lament our society's short-term thinking. In Seligmann's case, he thinks that if big, publicly traded corporations didn't think on a quarterly basis they could do MOREAdam Lashinsky, Sr. Editor at Large - Apr 30, 2013 2:03 PM ET
Mark Tercek is transforming the Nature Conservancy by partnering with business.
By Brian Dumaine, senior editor-at-large
FORTUNE -- Mark Tercek, the head of the Nature Conservancy, America's largest environmental group, is not your usual green-minded crusader. As a former partner and head of corporate finance at Goldman Sachs, Tercek is someone who has lived in both worlds. While at Goldman, then-CEO Hank Paulson had asked him to head up the investment MOREApr 30, 2013 10:08 AM ET
Harrison Ford speaks at Fortune's Brainstorm Green conference about being an environmentalist on the side.
FORTUNE -- Of course you know Harrison Ford, but did you know that in his spare time, the actor is the vice-chair of non-profit Conservation International? He joined the group, he told audience members Monday at Fortune's Brainstorm Green conference in Laguna Niguel, Calif., for a bit of a breather from his Hollywood life.
"I became involved MOREShelley DuBois, writer-reporter - Apr 29, 2013 6:25 PM ET
Apple's data centers now get 100%. So does its Cupertino headquarters.
FORTUNE -- Apple (AAPL), which has received more than its share of criticism from environmental activists over the years, released its annual Environmental Progress report Thursday. The chief takeaway from this year's issue: Apple's corporate facilities worldwide now get 75% of their power from renewable sources -- solar, wind, hydro and geothermal -- up from 35% two years ago.
According to Apple, MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 21, 2013 12:15 PM ET
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