environment

Video: How green is Apple?

April 21, 2014: 1:50 PM ET

Tim Cook responds to criticism from environmentalists with a video message of his own.

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.

Cook's message currently occupies the opening page of Apple.com. It's also available on YouTube.

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