It’s nearly midnight, and tattered remnants of Team Green my Apple are still in the office. Zeina is practically hoarse from whooping. Elaine has gone home after a marathon Flash coding exercise to change the front page of the Green my Apple site. Tom is at home with his newborn baby Mia, but here in spirit. We’ve got a webstory up and an ezine out, all in a matter of hours after we spotted something we’ve all been waiting for on apple.com: a beautiful little badge, in green on a recycled oatmeal paper background, saying “A Greener Apple” and linking to a letter from Steve Jobs saying “Today, we’re changing our policy.”
There aren’t many campaigns where the CEO of your target steps out and responds directly to your demands, and while Apple hasn’t gone far enough to, as Bruce Sterling blogs, Call the Greenpeace dogs off (and Bruce, as an official Mac Hugger, is one of those dogs!), he’s certainly done a Big Thing in acknowledging the will of his shareholders, customers, and employees for Apple to be a green leader.
Comment in the blogosphere seems divided between those who see this as Jobs’ revelation that Greenpeace was wrong and those who see this as the confirmation that Greenpeace was right — or at least acknowledge that Apple has moved. Jobs’ letter was an excellent piece of communication, weaving intentions with accomplishments to create the impression that it has all been a simple failure of Apple to express adequately how green it already is.
But Apple has moved, and it has been moved by its own fans. The decision to remove PVC and Brominated Fire Retardants from the product line by 2008 is not only new and precisely what the campaign was asking for, it’s more ambitous than any other manufacturer’s schedule. Michael Dell is phasing them out by 2009, so it may be time for him to up the ante by moving his deadline up, though he has already challenged the industry to adopt a worldwide take back policy, a challenge Apple has not risen to.
We’d been expecting an announcement from Apple previous to their AGM, and while speculation was rampant about what we’d get, this is pretty close to our expected scenario: a good, meaningful step in the right direction, and some indications of far more forward-thinking developments to come.
There’s no describing what today was like. We’ve been on adrenaline overdrive since 7pm, it’s now past 3am, and I don’t want to let this day go. This has been a tremendous confirmation of the power of consumer campaigning. It’s been a great example of Greenpeace 2.0, executed by a knock-out team of the finest troublemakers you’d ever care to meet.
A Webby Award and half a campaign win in the space of two days. It just doesn’t get much better than this.
Selah. And so to bed.
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