Not Just for Profit: Apple CEO Suggests That Climate Change Deniers Should Take Their Money Out of Apple Stock

apple-logoSubmitted by Elaine Magliaro, Weekend Contributor

The National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), a “self-described” conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C., happens to be a shareholder in Apple. NCPPR has not been happy with Apple’s environmental initiatives. According to Chris Taylor (Mashable), Apple has made great improvements “in its use of renewable energy” since Tim Cook took over as CEO. Taylor said, “More than three-quarters of the company’s facilities worldwide, including all of its data centers and its Cupertino HQ, now run on solar, wind, geothermal or hydro power, up from about a quarter under Jobs.” Just last year, Cook hired former EPA head Lisa Jackson “to lead the company’s sustainability efforts.”

In a written statement prior to Apple’s recent annual shareholder meeting, NCPPR’s general counsel Justin Danhof said, “We object to increased government control over company products and operations, and likewise mandatory environmental standards. This is something [Apple] should be actively fighting, not preparing surrender.” According to Fortune, NCPPR “was pushing a shareholder proposal that would have required Apple to disclose the costs of its sustainability programs and to be more transparent about its participation in ‘certain trade associations and business organizations promoting the amorphous concept of environmental sustainability’…” Bryan Chaffin (The Mac Observer) said that the NCPPR proposal was “rooted in the premise that humanity plays no role in climate change.” He also noted that there was language in the proposal that “advanced the idea that profits should be the only thing corporations consider.” During the shareholder meeting, NCPPR urged Apple CEO Tim Cook and the board “to pledge that Apple wouldn’t pursue any more environmental initiatives that didn’t improve its bottom line.”

According to Chris Taylor, Cook’s response to NCPPR was “blistering.” Bryan Chaffin said it was the only time he could recall that Cook appeared angry. Chaffin said Cook “categorically rejected the worldview behind the NCPPR’s advocacy.” The Apple CEO insisted that the company’s environmental efforts make “economic sense.” He added that Apple does “a lot of things for reasons besides profit motive.” Cook said that there were many things the company does “because they are right and just, and that a return on investment (ROI) was not the primary consideration on such issues.” Cook said that when the company works on “making devices accessible by the blind,” he doesn’t “consider the bloody ROI.”

Cook continued, “We want to leave the world better than we found it.” But Cook didn’t stop there. He suggested that anyone who had a problem with what the company was doing should sell their shares in Apple. “Get out of the stock,” he said.

Evidently, NCPPR was not too pleased with Cook’s response to its objections, advice, and shareholder proposal. Following the meeting, the think tank released a statement saying, “After today’s meeting, investors can be certain that Apple is wasting untold amounts of shareholder money to combat so-called climate change. The only remaining question is: how much?”

Good question. How much should companies/corporations invest in looking for ways to combat climate change?

And imagine this: The CEO of a big company who is concerned not only about the “bottom line”—but who also cares about doing things that are “right” and “just and that will leave the world a better place. If only his condition was infectious.

NOTE: NCPPR’s proposal was rejected by Apple’s shareholders. It received just 2.95 percent of the vote.

~ Submitted by Elaine Magliaro

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.


Apple CEO: Climate Change Deniers Should Take Their Money Out Of Apple Stock (ThinkProgress)

 Tim Cook to Climate Change Deniers: Get Out of Apple Stock (Mashable)

Apple’s Tim Cook picks a fight with climate change deniers: Tells shareholders who oppose Apple’s sustainability efforts to “get out of the stock.” (Fortune)

Right Wing Think Tank Wants Apple to Disclose Sustainability Costs (The Mac Observer)

Tim Cook Soundly Rejects Politics of the NCPPR, Suggests Group Sell Apple’s Stock (The Mac Observer)

106 thoughts on “Not Just for Profit: Apple CEO Suggests That Climate Change Deniers Should Take Their Money Out of Apple Stock

  1. And others are recommending people shift from Apple stock based upon other reasons… I read that on an advance sheet…

  2. Reblogged this on The Red Elm and commented:
    I don’t usually post political pieces to this blog but it’s more legal than political, anyhow, and it’s a really good article about technology, corporate citizenship, and sustainability.

  3. “America should be the land where all that is possible,”

    This pretty much sums up the simulated universe, of which there are tens of thousands of world-places, some connected, though none are precisely called “America.” When quantum computers arrive in the mainstream, the human mind will be fooled into thinking it’s all quite real. The local universe will just be another place one visits for certain things. By 2024 latest. Likely sooner.

    The dream, however, lives on.

    Meanwhile, real America just plain flat out doesn’t work any more, not in idea, not in practice. And this was quite on purpose, e.g. by drowning in a bathtub Norquist-style. Regrettably for him, the future just keeps on a-comin’, still at the rate of Moore’s Law. And, ultimately, Norquist lacks the strength to hold America under water long enough. Cleaning up his wreckage will be our lot.

  4. @bigfatmike “…The idea that large corporations have any national affiliation is rapidly passing into history…”

    there are other examples out there. I know Germany is really boring as a country, but it might make sense to study the way they do things. All the brands you perceive as “German brands” are actually headquartered in Germany and pay taxes there. German law dictates that 50% of the board have to be labor representatives, which caps excessive management salaries and leads to consensus decisions with regards to wage increases and moving production abroad. German consumers are aware of these things and will base their purchase decisions on these kind of facts.
    You are right about Apple though, they are essentially an Irish company today, because that’s where they got the best deal.

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