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Friday, January 13, 2012, 09:01 am PT (12:01 pm ET)

New power cables will make Apple products even more eco-friendly

Apple's focus on creating "green" products has inspired its power and USB cable supplier, Volex, to switch to more environmentally friendly materials.

Volex will spend up to $6 million this year to produce halogen-free power cables that are less harmful to the environment when disposed, according to London Evening Standard (via GigaOm). The company will design and make new cables and will suffer a one-time cost as a result.

The report said the change is as a result of a "green push" by Apple. For years Apple has designed its products with the environment behind, and usually highlights the EPEAT, or Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, ratings of products at highly publicized keynotes.

Halogens included in electronic products can be a hazard to the environment if they are burned after they are thrown away. Burning halogen releases dioxins and furans into the atmosphere, which has caused concern in recent years as the presence of those chemicals has been growing in soil.

For years now, Apple has had a special section of its website devoted to the company's environmental footprint. It boasts that just 2 percent of the company's total carbon footprint came from facilities in 2010, while 98 percent came from product life cycle.

Environment


Even though Apple has made its environmental efforts well publicized, the company has still found itself under fire on occasion from groups like Greenpeace, which this year criticized a new data center the company built in North Carolina. But later last year, it was revealed that Apple plans to build a solar farm across from its North Carolina data center.