Color me a cynic, but I have a hard time feeling the sincerity in Steve Jobs' promise to make Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) a more environmentally friendly business, with initiatives like eliminating certain toxic substances from its products and promoting recycling. Jobs issued a five-page memo discussing the new, greener Apple.
If this announcement had come a year ago, in a time when Apple wasn't in the midst of an options-backdating scandal with accusations flying all the way up to Mr. Jobs, I'd applaud the company's efforts. In a way, I still do. But it also seems like a diversionary tactic to draw attention away from governance scandals surrounding the company.
Portfolio.com wrote that, "As Home Depot and Wal-Mart have recently discovered, announcing green initiatives in the face of bad news is a great way to divert media attention from things like $100 million CEO pay packages and ongoing battles over worker wages and benefits."
The magazine also points out that Al Gore's presence on the board of directors may have contributed to the decision, although Gore recently backed the board in opposing shareholder proposals that would have called for more stringent environmental standards at the company.