At a shareholders meeting on Friday, CEO Tim Cook angrily defended Apple’s environmentally-friendly practices against a request from the conservative National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) to drop those practices if they ever became unprofitable.
NCPPR put forward a shareholder’s proposal asking Apple to disclose how much it spends on sustainability programs. If those costs detracted from Apple’s bottom line, the NCPPR demanded that Apple discontinue the programs and commit only to projects that are explicitly profitable. Cook apparently became angry at the group’s request.
…reportedly, Cook said “If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.” We’ll get to that in a second, but first off:
- If you do business – particularly manufacturing business – in the People’s Republic of China, you are not permitted to lecture me on environmentalism. Tim Cook no more believes in global warming than I do: if he did, he would stop using Third World labor to manufacture his iPads and iPhones and push the cost off onto his customer base.
But Tim Cook will not do that, because:
- Tim Cook’s sustainability program advocacy is done entirely for ROI reasons. The amount of money Apple spends on feel-good Greenie nonsense is made up for by the amount of money that they save by paying Chinese factories to make their electronic products. And if Apple stopped funding that nonsense, their customer base might – might! – actually start caring about the fact that their shiny new techno-gadget is reportedly being made by somebody making fifty-one cents an hour.
Just I thought that I’d mention.
PS: There is a reason why Steve Jobs was not in the habit of telling a room full of shareholders that he was going to deliberately pursue policies that would damage the company’s bottom line: Steve Jobs, like most people, did not enjoy being sued.
PPS: iPod, iPad, and maybe even an iPhone some day. What of it? I want the Third World to be fully industrialized. Then they’ll be able to afford stuff like participatory democracy, market capitalism, and practical environmentalism. They’re not going to get that way if they stay being living dolls for the delight of Western paternalistic liberals…