So, there was a piece in the news recently regarding how Apple & Lenovo scored extremely low in terms of environmental practices when compared with the likes of Nokia and Dell. Now, having been to parts of Scandinavia before, I think I can believe the Nokia attitude, since many of the folks I’ve spoken with from up there seem to indicate that there’s a bit more corporate responsibility going on. I glanced over the report at the time, and decided it seemed a bit on the light side as far as real details were concerned, but assumed that there must have been a bit more to these, and somewhat accepted, albeit reluctantly, that Apple wasn’t doing that great of a job environmentally. Then comes this which among some other recent things, have made me rethink some of my attitude towards the more activist environmental and animal rights organizations. Just because some large portion of corporations or groups of people are doing bad things doesn’t give you license to complain about the sky falling for any one individual one without real, solid, factual data to back things up. It’s almost as irresponsible as using all sorts of toxic materials in your products. Why is this? It’s not just because it’s inaccurate, it’s because we want to appropriately praise or criticize corporations to encourage them to embrace better practices. If you flip things around and do a poor job on research, why are those companies going to want to do a good job next time if they don’t have to, if people don’t care enough do real research before making broad negative claims. At the same time, be careful about criticizing others when your own track record isn’t spotless. Honest, open, communication is essential to making things better.
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