Angry Apple CEO tells climate deniers to get out of his stock | RenewEconomy

Angry Apple CEO tells climate deniers to get out of his stock

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Conservative think tank in US tried to force Apple to stop investing in renewables. Its CEO told the climate deniers to take a hike and get out of the stock.

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The boss of computer and software giant Apple has made a blistering response to climate denial and fossil fuel lobby groups, telling them that if they don’t like Apple’s switch to renewable energy, then they should sell their stock.

Tim Cook made the remark at the company’s annual general meeting after the National Centre of Public Policy Research, a conservative think tanks similar to Australia’s Institute of Public Affairs (they share a disdain of climate science and renewables) tried to force the company to move away from clean energy.

“We object to increased government control over company products and operations, and likewise mandatory environmental standards,” NCPPAR counsel Justin Danhof wrote. “This is something [Apple] should be actively fighting, not preparing surrender.”

Apple has vastly increased its commitment to renewable energy since Cook became CEO and more than three-quarters of its data base facilities now run on solar, wind, hydroelectric or geothermal power – a three-fold increase since Cook inherited control of the company. It aims to have 100 per cent of its electricity requirements. It has also appointed Lisa Jackson, the former head of the Environmental Protection Authority, to spearhead its sustainability program.

Cook told the NCPPR that investing in renewables make environmental sense, and anyway, there are a lot of things for reasons besides profit motive.

The normally mild-mannered Cook was visibly angry when he told the meeting: “When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind,” he said, “I don’t consider the bloody ROI (return on investment).”

“We want to leave the world better than we found it,” he said.

He then looked directly at the NCPPR representative and said: “If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.”

As one close observer of Apple noted, it was a clear rejection of the climate change denial, anything-for-the-sake-of-profits politics espoused by the NCPPR. It was also an unequivocal message that Apple would continue to invest in sustainable energy and related areas.

The NCPPR’s proposal was rejected by shareholders. Less than 3 per cent of votes were cast in favour of its motion. They probably decided that Apple, one of the world’s most successful companies, didn’t need the advice of a conservative think tank about how to make money. Especially a think tank driven by the narrow confines of ideology and a rejection of science.

Apple’s position presents an interesting contrast with Australia, where a government heavily influenced by the IPA is basing nearly every policy decision around so called “ROI” and little else.

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  1. Leslie Graham 6 years ago

    Well said Mr Cook.
    It’s about time more top industrialists told the carbon corporations front men – like the disgusting NCPPR – to get lost.
    Apple’s shares should rise on this news on Monday.
    The carbon corporations Denial Industry BS machine is going ape**** over this. It’s hilarious. Real foaming at the mouth toddler-style hissy fits. So funny to watch.
    And the biggest joke is that the more the Denial Industry spokesmen rant on about it the better Cook looks. Free publicity and good PR from the very people who hate him.
    Now that climate change is simply an obvious everyday reality all over the world the denial has become hyserical – even pathological.

    • wideEyedPupil 6 years ago

      Totally pathological. I agree and then some, Leslie. How else can you characterise a desire to destroy most of life on spaceship Earth as we know it in the name of BAU and increasing personal wealth which is already astronomical for many of these men and their family empires.

      • johnBas5 6 years ago

        Do remember that these people whine about wealth increase for themselves, not for average Joe.
        It’s in the name of their wealth increase that the carbon barons want to burn/sell fossil fuels/carbon fuels.

  2. wideEyedPupil 6 years ago

    When Jobs told Cook do not ask ‘what would I have done’ make your own decisions this is exactly what he had in mind I imagine. Good on you Tim Cook, Apple was getting outplayed by much more immoral companies like Google and Facebook in the renewables space but has caught up big time now.

  3. Dan Hue 6 years ago

    I bet that Apple’s green policy reflects the core values of most of its employees. For companies that need to attract and retain a highly skilled workforce, this is critical, which is something that is obviously lost on the dimwits at the NCPPP.

  4. patb2009 6 years ago

    Apple needs to come up with an apple Home energy system and Apple branded Solar PV for the home.

    • analoguecheese 6 years ago


    • Rav Soin 6 years ago

      Let Apple do what they are good at. There are good brands for Home Energy System and Solar PV for home.

      • wideEyedPupil 6 years ago

        See above Rav, they have already taken great liberties against you!

    • Mags 6 years ago

      Yes please!!

    • wideEyedPupil 6 years ago

      Apple patented a bunch of (?iOS) interface tools to do these kinds of tasks years ago… perhaps the engineers who left and formed Nest (since bought by do-a-heap-of-evil Google) where in on that skunkworks project.

      Search there a bunch of interesting stuuf there. To get you started:

  5. Stan Hlegeris 6 years ago

    My guess is that the quotations used here might be incomplete or out of order.

    ROI does matter; it matters a lot, and it matters to Apple and to Tim Cook. It’s been a focus on ROI which has placed Apple in the position of leading the way financially, practically, and maybe even morally.

    The real message to take from Apple (and Google, and others) is that big companies which generate their own clean energy will be more successful than those which don’t. Many people will find that fact more persuasive than any number of arguments about what companies OUGHT to do.

    • Nicko 6 years ago

      Apple leading morally???

      Not until they improve their production in China and the many abuses there by suppliers eg Foxconn. They have the clout, hence are the ones targeted by human rights campaigners.

      ROI seems paramount there, and the renewable energy push to keep up with competitors like Google, while laudable, is a much smaller issue than their tail dragging on working conditions.

      And why not renewable energy for the suppliers?

      • wideEyedPupil 6 years ago

        Apple is manufacturing the new Mac Pro in USA. In Texas IIRC.

        Tim Cook having worked in China for years at Dell before coming over to run production at Apple has stated many times he is no fan of doing business in China. So they designed a manufacturing plant in USA that is *highly* automated, Apple already lead JIT and automated assembly before off-shoring. As Jobs said at the time to developers, he love to stay in USA but at a certain price point above part for part PCs they stop selling Macs. The less they sell the less developers support it and its a death spiral.

        Jobs was sharp and new they couldn’t exist without going to China. Now they have the cash reserves to design the next level of automated assembly, using much less labour that Chinese plants so they can remain competitive, plus power them with renewable energy. Of course most of the components will come from Asia like with most electronic good.

        If you read up on labour practices in China you will know Apple has much more independent monitoring of a raft of labour conditions than it’s competitors. Apple is the first to go with independent and certified auditors because the previous system of monitoring was easily perverted by bribery and a constant obstacle to improved conditions.

        I would argue the is no more important moral, social and economic issue than addressing Climate Change. Getting 100% renewables not just saves tonnes of C02 every day it shows the world (and denialsits and ‘luke warmers’) that it is possible to do (and so STFU already!)

  6. Alen 6 years ago

    Now theres a CEO worth his multi-million dollar salary

  7. mark clayton 6 years ago

    Absolutely awesome display of grit and determination, congratulations Mr.Cook. The triple bottom line is the new paradigm ( social, environmental, financial ).0

  8. Guest 6 years ago

    Go Apple, let the world see that you can do very well thank you without teaching the planet.

  9. Mags 6 years ago

    Go Apple, let the world see you can do very well indeed, thank you, without trashing the planet in the process.

  10. Sam 6 years ago

    The shareholder said it all with their votes:

    “Less than 3 per cent of votes were cast in favour of NCPPR’s motion. They probably decided that Apple, one of the world’s most successful companies, didn’t need the advice of a conservative think tank about how to make money. Especially a think tank driven by the narrow confines of ideology and a rejection of science”

    Those 3% who cast their votes in favor of the motion should sell their stock and invest in BP’s Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico and see how that turns out in future!’

  11. justic4all 6 years ago

    Tim Cook, I don’t currently own Apple (almost did once but couldn’t do “select print” on just part of a page!) but since you are my new hero, that will be my next computer even if it still doesn’t have this feature! Thanks for having the courage to stand up to Wall Street, and for using your power, money and position for the good of the planet and humanity rather than for short term gain. I can only hope and pray for our children and grandchildren’s futures that more CEO’s will find their conscience and follow your lead. Kudos.

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