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Firm withdraws Apple shareholder resolution on safer materials

Thrilled with recent disclosures by Apple chief executive Steve Jobs on the company's plans for a greener future, Trillium Asset Management is retracting a previously filed resolution that would have pressured the Mac maker into releasing a corporate environmental report as part of its impending shareholders meeting.

The Trillium shareholder resolution, which helped draw Jobs' open letter on Apple's environmental goals, requested the Apple Board of Directors publish a report on the feasibility of adopting a policy to become a leader in the use of safe materials. It called upon the Cupertino-based company to eliminate from its products persistent and bioaccumulative toxic chemicals, in addition to all types of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics.

"With Apple's announced plan to eliminate BFRs and PVC in 2008 they have addressed the most specific issue raised by our resolution," Shelley Alpern, Vice President of Trillium Asset Management, wrote in a statement provided to AppleInsider. "Now, we're looking forward to seeing Apple move from aspiration to implementation, as its new, less toxic products enter the marketplace over the next year."

Apple's stated plan to rid its goods of BFRs and PVCs next year puts it well ahead of rival Dell, which by contrast has said it will not completely eliminate those chemicals from its personal computers until some time in 2009.

"Apple’s announcement makes its chemical policies far more transparent,” added Sanford Lewis, attorney and author of the Trillium resolution. "As a longtime Apple user myself, I'm looking forward to obtaining a greener Apple just as soon as they're available."

Lewis remarked that the company’s next frontiers will be to reinforce the steps announced by Jobs on Wednesday, with a "commitment to eliminate all persistent and bioaccumulative toxic chemicals" and to adopt the "precautionary principle" as an operative principle of design.

Trillium, which holds approximately $5.3 million in Apple shares, is a member of the Investor Environmental Health Network —a group of financial managers and advisors who are actively monitoring the risks and opportunities posed by toxic chemicals in products of their portfolio companies.

While the firm's safer materials resolution continues to appear on the Apple proxy ballot, Trillium said it no longer intends to present the resolution at the company's May 10 shareholder meeting.