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June 2007

Apple shareholders demand aggressive ‘take back’ program

Apple Inc. announced a series of aggressive goals to take back and recycle computers. The announcement came after being criticized by environmental activists and socially conscious investors who were concerned that Apple was an industry laggard with regard to computer recycling.

While activists played a visible role in front of shareholder meetings, concerned investors maintained a dialogue with senior management for the past three years. After shareholder dialogues at Dell and HP proved successful, the socially conscious shareholders focused on Apple. Organized by the San Francisco-based As You Sow Foundation, the coalition included notable environmental foundations such as the Educational Foundation of America (EFA) that are using their portfolios to promote change.

“What’s good for the environment is good for business,” said EFA’s John Powers. “Shareholder engagement like Apple’s is a strategy that all socially conscious foundations should be embracing.”

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