The high-profile exodus from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce continues. Companies like Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and Exelon have resigned their membership while Nike relinquished its spot on the organization’s board of directors. Yesterday, Apple announced that it would also be resigning its membership from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over the chamber’s stance on climate change.
In an Oct. 5, 2009, letter, Catherine A. Novelli, vice president, Worldwide Government Affairs of Apple Inc. states, “We would prefer that the chamber take a more progressive stance on this critical issue and play a constructive role in addressing the climate crisis. However, because the chamber’s position differs so sharply with Apple’s, we have decided to resign our membership effective immediately.” Source: New York Times (PDF)
After being called out for its products’ impact on the environment several years ago, Apple Inc. has worked to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and also to create a more eco-friendly product line. In September, the company announced its new environmental website. On the website, Apple fully discloses the company’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The life cycle analysis includes the company’s direct contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, and other environmental impacts, plus its products’ effects on the environment. Surprisingly, 53 percent of Apple’s greenhouse gas emissions contribution comes from product use while 38 percent is generated from the manufacturing process.
Although commercial buildings are responsible for a large chunk of the world’s carbon emissions, Apple’s facilities only account for 3 percent of Apple’s carbon footprint.
Last week, U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas J. Donahue released a statement aimed to help mitigate the damage being caused by the organization’s stance on climate change. Despite his best efforts, Apple resigned due to the drastic difference in the chamber’s opinion on climate change regulation and Apple’s overall environmental goals.
For more on the Chamber of Commerce controversy, read previous posts on the subject:
- Climate debate leads to Chamber of Commerce rift
- Chamber of Commerce woes continue
- Chamber of Commerce losing members over climate change