By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
October 15, 2007

That green glow around Apple (AAPL) didn’t last long. Only three days after the company gave over the front page of its website to proclaim itself “bursting with pride” over boardmember Al Gore’s Nobel, the environmental activists at Greenpeace have attacked Steve Jobs for failing to make his cellphone as green as his competitors’.

In a slick video posted on YouTube (and pasted below the fold), the organization paints Jobs as a hypocrite for promising a “greener Apple” but failing to take the minimal steps that Nokia and Sony Erikson took to earn a higher rating in Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics. After earning cheers from Greenpeace last May, the company has actually slipped a few notches on the organization’s green meter.

It’s difficult for nonscientists to judge how benign or dangerous the traces of brominated fire retardants in the iPhone’s antenna or the phthalate plasticisers in the white headset really are. But by failing to perform the due diligence that would have told the company what its competitors were doing about those components — or to match the “take back” recycling programs that have earned Nokia and Sony Erikson high marks with European greens — Apple has left itself open for another round of negative environmental agitprop.

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