The first green groups have begun responding to Apple’s move to withdraw from the US Chamber of Commerce in protest at that group’s non-green agenda.

Apple last night revealed its immediate withdrawal from the US Chamber of Commerce because of the groups “strident criticism of plans to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions”.

In a letter to the Chamber president, Apple VP, Catherine Novelli said: "Apple supports regulating greenhouse gas emissions, and it is frustrating to find the Chamber at odds with us in this effort."

Since then, Clean Production Action and ChemSec have issued a report that highlights Apple as one of seven companies that lead the pack in terms of eliminating toxic substances from electronic poducts.

The group said: “Apple established an innovative program that restricts the use of nearly all bromine and chlorine compounds across all their product lines. As such, Apple now offers a wide range of PVC and BFR free consumer products including iPhones and iPods, as well as computers that are free of BFRs and most uses of PVC.”

“These seven companies demonstrate that there are less toxic and still cost effective alternatives to substances of high concern that do not compromise performance or reliability,” says CPA Project Director Alexandra McPherson. “They are well positioned to gain competitive advantage in a marketplace and regulatory environment increasingly sensitive to the use of toxic chemicals in consumer products.”

Apple supplier, Seagate is one of the firms also commended for playing its part. It was immediately receptive to Apple’s 2007 demand that suppliers prove their parts don’t use any chlorine or bromine.

Apple hired scientists and despatched other know how to suppliers who required help achieving its targets. More recently, Apple has worked with another company to develop a replacement for PVC, which is understood to become commonplace in use in Apple products during the coming year, BusinessWeek informs.

The company accepted the replacement material would be more expensive than PVC, “Apple is really walking the walk,” a source told the reporter.

Greenpeace sources haven’t yet released a statement on Apple’s latest moves to Green its business, and to encourage US business to do the same.

It’s possible the campaigning group won’t at this stage, as within the last two weeks, the chamber has lost California’s biggest utility corporations, Pacific Gas and Electric and Exelon, along with PNM resources, a New Mexico firm. Nike resigned from the commerce executive but remains a member. Two other firms – General Electric and Johnson & Johnson – have issued statements saying that they disagree with the chamber’s climate policy.

Meanwhile, Greenpeace has quietly made its ‘Guide to Greener Electronics’ available as a guide which can be read on any phone, including the iPhone.

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