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Apple gets mixed ruling in 'green' dispute with Dell

updated 11:00 am EDT, Mon June 22, 2009

Apple vs. Dell ruling

Apple has been both vindicated and condemned in an advertising dispute with Dell, reports say. The latter company earlier filed a complaint with the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, accusing Apple of potentially misleading the public by claiming its unibody MacBooks are the "greenest" notebooks on the market. Dell has asserted that its notebooks also meet high environmental standards, for instance by scaling down mercury, PVC and brominated flame retardant content.

The NAD has now sided with Dell to a degree, recommending that Apple should cease using the greenest claim to "avoid overstatement." In comparing notebooks using the EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) standard, the group observes that there are in fact better-rated brands, including Toshiba's Portege line. Apple has however been commended for maintaining consistently high EPEAT ratings across all of its notebooks, something not achieved by any other manufacturer.

Although Dell has yet to comment, an Apple spokeswoman has called the ruling a "clear victory" for the company's marketing efforts. "The case challenged our claim to the 'world's greenest family of notebooks,' and NAD has confirmed that MacBooks are in fact the world's greenest notebook computers when compared to other manufacturers' product lines as a whole," the spokeswoman claims. The company has frequently ranked higher than Dell in Greenpeace environmental rankings.

By Electronista Staff


  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008



    DELL can't compete and now resorts to acting like a spoiled brat on the playground. Crying Momma, momma.... pathetic.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. lamewing

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2004


    and yet

    And yet if the roles were reversed, Apple would have made sure folks knew they had the greenest computer.

  1. howiethemacguy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007


    Big deal!

    I don't make purchasing decisions on how "green" a product is. I'm not going to pander to the wackos at Greenpeace, and neither should Apple or Dell.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. luckyday

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008



    You're such a joke. When you consider your comment relative to apple's marketing approach for the last few years (i.e. taking aim at windows), it really sheds light on your hypocrisy.

    Not to mention, i'm pretty sure both Dell and Apple don't help our environment.

  1. chas_m



    "Greenest family"

    It's 100% true that Apple has the "greenest" family of notebooks, which is what they advertise, so Apple is correct in calling the ruling a "clear victory." The key word there is "family" as in the lineup overall.

    Individual notebooks from certain manufacturers may be "greener," but that's also a good thing, as it pushes Apple to keep working at it. Competition is good. :)

  1. macnixer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2006


    how does keeping

    "non-green" stuff away make green products? All the chemicals and stuff come out of the earth and goes back to it. So I wonder how are we making the difference.

    In my science class I learnt that you can only change the form of matter, not create it or destroy it. So all the "non- green" stuff we have are really matter in a different form and will go back to earth and will change form again.

    I do believe in keeping toxic elements away. Just pondering here, how the nature handles the changes.

  1. testedoh

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008


    macnixer ...

    All the ELEMENTS come out of the earth and go back in it. But you're right, they can go back in with a different form. Well, the form matters. A different form can have drastically different chemical properties. For example, HCl is hydrochloric acid, very corrosive, and NaOH is sodium hydroxide, also very nasty. But put them together in the right amounts and you get table salt dissolved in water. So we went from nasty chemicals to harmless chemicals. Plenty of reactions go the other direction though.

  1. testedoh

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008


    on second thought ...

    Actually, thinking about it, elements don't even always stay the same element. You can dig a chunk of uranium ore out of the ground and hold it in your hand - it's only slightly radioactive and relatively harmless. Split all that uranium apart into fission fragments and you wouldn't want to be anywhere near those new elements without shielding for a long time. Protons and neutrons can even change from one into the other. But as a whole, the combined matter is constant, /- the relatively small amount we convert to and from energy on earth.

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