Greenpeace praises Apple for reducing use of conflict minerals

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Following the release of Apple's annual supplier responsibility report on Thursday, environmental organization Greenpeace spoke out with praise, celebrating the iPhone maker's efforts to cut its use of conflict minerals.

"Apple's increased transparency about its suppliers is becoming a hallmark of Tim Cook's leadership at the company," Greenpeace Energy Campaigner Tom Dowdall said in a statement. "Apple has flexed its muscles in the past to push suppliers to remove hazardous substances from products and provide more renewable energy for data centers, and it is proving the same model can work to reduce the use of conflict minerals."

The organization specifically called out Samsung, along with other consumer electronics companies, to follow Apple's example. The hope is that the industry can "exert its collective influence" to build devices better for both people and the planet.

Apple and Greenpeace have had a rocky relationship over the years, with the organization occasionally praising the iPhone maker, but also singling the company out over environmental issues. However, of late Greenpeace has been mostly complimentary of Apple, and last year praised Apple's hiring of former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson.

A year prior, Greenpeace also eased off its criticisms of Apple's clean energy policies, calling the company's efforts "significantly improved." That was a significant change from protests earlier that year, held in both Cupertino, Calif. and Cork, Ireland, that accused Apple of using coal-based power at its massive data center in Maiden, N.C., to power its iCloud services.