After failing to appear before British lawmakers, Apple has been accused of not taking its environmental obligations seriously enough, particularly on e-waste, reports Bloomberg.
Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked to appear before the Environmental Audit Select Committee of the House of Commons, but failed to respond before a September 4 deadline. Apple was previously asked to put forward a representative to speak on its behalf in July, but it canceled at short notice.
The committee mainly examines how government department policies and programs affect both the environment and sustainable development, and was specifically looking into Apple’s actions to combat electronic waste.
Apple’s “unwillingness to answer my committee’s questions has led us to believe its environmental obligations are not taken seriously enough,” said Chairman Philip Dunne in a statement, despite the fact that the company “appears to have a positive story to tell regarding its efforts on climate change.”
With more than two billion iPhones sold, Dunne said that Apple’s answers about the steps it is taking to minimize its environmental footprint are crucial. An excessive number of electronic devices are too difficult or expensive to repair, creating a “throwaway society for electronics,” he said. Apple did not respond to Bloomberg‘s request for comment.
In February, Apple was fined 25 million euros by a French consumer fraud group and 10 million euros by Italy’s antitrust authority for intentionally slowing down some iPhone models via a software update, which could negatively incentivize users to upgrade a newer device. Apple has strongly refuted accusations of planned obsolescence in the past.
Earlier this year, Apple committed to becoming carbon neutral across its entire business and manufacturing supply chain by 2030. This month, Apple announced it will construct two of the world’s largest onshore wind turbines near Esbjerg in Denmark, in an expansion of its investment in renewable energy.