Apple’s Climate Message Receives Critiques
In an era where tech giants are leaning towards sustainability, Apple recently enlisted the help of none other than Academy Award-winning actress, Octavia Spencer to narrate a climate-related short film. However, instead of applause, Apple found itself at the receiving end of a harsh backlash accusing it of ‘greenwashing’.
Octavia Spencer Takes on Mother Nature’s Role
It was undeniably a creative approach. In the short film, Apple cast Octavia Spencer, who is known for her roles in critically acclaimed movies like ‘Hidden Figures’, as a representation of Mother Nature. The narrative involved Spencer scrutinizing Apple’s environmental efforts and providing commentary on the company’s green initiatives. Apple CEO, Tim Cook, also featured in the film, getting a few scoldings from ‘Mother Nature’ about the company’s environmental impact.
The Term That Dominated the Discussion: ‘Greenwashing’
The visceral reaction that followed could be encapsulated in one word: greenwashing. Greenwashing is a term used when a company or organization spends more time and money on marketing themselves as environmentally friendly than on minimizing their environmental impact. It’s a form of spin in which green PR and green marketing are deceptively used to persuade the public that an organization’s products, aims, and policies are environmentally friendly when they are not.
Accusations and Reactions
Detractors are pointing out that while Apple’s efforts to cut carbon emissions are commendable in theory, they argue that in practice, it does not do enough to mitigate the negative impacts of its business operations globally. There are claims that the company’s manufacturing processes and the life cycle of its products have serious environmental implications that are not being adequately addressed, hence, the ‘greenwashing’ accusation.
Why The Spotlight on Apple?
As one of the biggest tech companies globally, Apple’s actions are closely monitored and scrutinized. The brand’s status in society comes with the added expectation that it will leverage its resources and influence to drive positive changes in sectors like the environment. That’s why it’s being put under the lens for making claims about its environmental commitments.
It’s clear that Apple’s attempt to use film as a medium to convey their environmental efforts wasn’t received as expected. Moving forward, the company will likely need to provide more evidence of its green initiatives, beyond what’s forecasted or planned, in order to back up its claims and quiet the critics.
No matter the opinions and discussions sparked, one can’t deny that this event certainly stirred an important conversation about greenwashing and the real measures companies need to take in order to be truly environmentally-friendly.