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. “The old materialistic “American dream” is a non-starter for most.”

    What is the American Dream? I think it has had many iterations over the course of our country. From a small plot of land to feed your family to owning a railroad company or steel mill to having a job with one company for 30 years and a nice retirement to today where I see people wanting to work for themselves by starting small businesses of every kind and growing them or not.

    The American Dream, except for that time when people wanted a secure job, is about creating your own life to the best of your ability, it is about freedom and individual liberty. The ability to follow your dreams and if you are able, to achieve those dreams. There are 300 million plus American Dreams, from the materialistic to those who want to surf all day and party all night to those who want to help other people in some fashion.

    America should be the land where all that is possible, Jefferson’s Pursuit of Happiness is our birth right but it is not owed to us. Liberty means personal responsibility and with that comes the freedom to fail or succeed.

    Materialism? Who makes money without a passion for something? Very few people start out saying I want to make a sh*t ton of money, they start with an idea and if it is good and they work hard and get a break here or there, they become wealthy.

    Liberty is the American Dream from which all good things come.

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

    There is the future right there. It is going to need a lot of help, but luckily those under 45 want more of this, not less.

    The tide is turning against wealth for wealth’s sake. And those that cling to it will not prevent the future from arriving in which fewer and fewer people care how much money you have. The old materialistic “American dream” is a non-starter for most. For them, the waveform of the dollar has already collapsed. That wealth is already spoken-for.It’s a dead end that only lavishes those who do not need it.

    We can expect a wee bit of resistance, as the off-key NCPPR and such are unlikely to challenge their own entitlement to greed.

    But it won’t matter. The young were raised in increasingly complex simulations that inch closer to reality each year, and many have their own economies. Second LIfe has a vibrant Linden economy, for example. Simulations yet unrun will be prospected not by Wall Street titans, but anyone with a computer and a penchant for escaping the bonds placed on us by the wealthy.

  3. I just dont understand Americans… Apple is their own company, born and bred in USA, yet they wish it dead to support a Korean company, that takes their money, profits etc. are they really that stupid? Wow

    1. ” Apple is their own company, born and bred in USA,”

      The idea that large corporations have any national affiliation is rapidly passing into history. For the most part they are global. The pick the bast places for their factories based on criteria like low cost and quality of production, they pick the best places to realize profits based on tax rates, even location for head quarters is sometime chosen on the basis of global advantage.

      The idea that Apple is an American company or that certain cars are Japanese is not very meaningful today and will likely be less so in the future.

  4. To the conservative mind, corporations are people unless they show a conscience or a heart or a brain.

  5. Bron

    It is one thing to benefit the blind by making products easy to use, that has universal application, it is quite another to make long term business decisions based on climate change. Especially when we are sitting on huge deposits of coal, oil and natural gas.
    SC beats PC.

  6. There is much talk about “PC” (politically correct).

    Here is the better reality, “SC” … socially correct.

    “We got your back” means a lot more when people who care about social injustice say it; think of a target on your back when certain politicians say it.

    Apple has a sense of SC.

  7. }}} Remember the clean coal push a few years back?
    What ever happened to it? Oh… Beijing.

    Remember the clean coal push a few years back?
    What ever happened to it?
    Oh… Bama.

    MIDDLE CLASS KILLER… Obama’s New Clean Coal Rules Will Increase Energy Costs By 70-80% (Video)

  8. Notice how max is just parroting things, by the way, and how he expresses no understanding of the actual facts involved.

    :Here look, a link” and nothing more… IF that.

  9. }}} Max-1
    Up next:
    Wind turbines kill birds.

    Up next: Max tries to blow off the fact that wind turbines are killing PROTECTED BIRDS, many of which are much too large for cats to get at.

    And note how max ignores the bats, which are no doubt far more relevant to the ecosystem than he grasps, as a source of bug control, for one thing.

    There is plenty of evidence that windfarms kill California Condors in numbers which would SHUT DOWN any other business.

    But hey, who the hell cares about a bunch of stinking PROTECTED BIRDS… right? Much better to keep a completely invalid, total fantasy of “small footprint” energy alive, right…? So what if it kills as much as a third of a protected species released into the wild by conservationists…? Feh. They’re just scavengers anyway!!

  10. Elaine M.

    Sorry I haven’t comment directly about your Apple article.
    I’m upset that big corporations are setting the rules nowadays, in general.
    I am glad, that big corporations are making it clear who they will do business with. Very mixed on THAT issue, IMO. However, what it takes in America, it seems, is Corporate Power to get the job done.

    To date, we’ve had the coal, oil/gas and nuclear set the agenda.
    And like I said before, why, when we witness poison entering out environment in big ways, do we buy into, ‘More of what ills you is better for you’ mentality.

    Remember the clean coal push a few years back?
    What ever happened to it? Oh… Beijing.

  11. IGotBupkis,
    Which is more preferred:

    A) A wind turbine pushed by clean air
    B) Beijing smog

    I’ll take the distant whoosh of a wind mill over terminal lung cancer…

  12. }}} i don’t understand how windmills are less a part of the landscape than fenced off squares with cows in them.


    First off, tell that to the Kennedys. Teddy tried to block one off Cape Cod before he passed away… April 27, 2006:
    WASHINGTON — As record oil prices turn attention to the need for renewable fuels, momentum is building in Congress to buck Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s bid to block the proposed Cape Cod wind energy project, potentially
    reviving efforts to construct the sprawling windmill farm in Nantucket Sound.

    Second, I’ve never lived near one, but I gather they’re pretty loud, and a very recognizable, penetrating kind of noise for that, too.

    Third, a lot of people don’t like seeing massive amounts of technology in their view of nature. Keep in mind that windmills are not just low on the ground, they generally have to be placed up on ridges where they are highly visible and generally dominating the view.

  13. NAS & Royal Society Move Climate Talk From Debate To Mitigation

    The U.S. National Academy of Sciences and The Royal Society of London debut Climate Change: Evidence & Causes, a new publication produced jointly by the two world-leading scientific institutions, live on the internet on Thursday, February 27, 2014, from 10:00-11:30 EST.

    The new publication bills itself as “a brief, readable reference document for decision makers, policy makers, educators, and other individuals seeking authoritative information on the some of the questions that continue to be asked” about climate change. A UK-US team of leading climate scientists wrote the document, and climate scientists and others reviewed it.
    (continued at link)

  14. sorry, poorly worded sentence. Should read above:
    “Wouldn’t the continued burning of fossil fuels, sans the extraction process for materials for alt. energy forms…”

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