Climate change deniers, in the form of the National Center for Public Policy Research, tried to take on Apple Corporation and got spanked. They submitted a proposal at the annual stockholders meeting to try and force Apple to reveal how much money it is spending on sustainable energy. The measure failed and the NCPPR’s general counsel, Justin Danhoff, tried to call out Apple CEO Tim Cook on the issue. Danhoff asked Tim Cook if the only reason Apple’s sustainable energy policy was profitable was because of government subsidies and if Cook would commit to doing only those things that improve the bottom line. According to reports, Cook got quite angry and lashed out at Danhoff, telling him that there are many things Apple does because they are the right thing and the return on investment (ROI) wasn’t always the primary consideration. Cook even told Danhoff, “If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.”
I have not been a big fan of Tim Cook as Apple CEO, but he won major points with me this time. NCPPR is a noted climate change denier organization and is trying to score points off Apple. Apple’s sustainable energy plan is part of the company’s response to climate change and is their way of helping with the problem. Why this is such an issue with NCPPR is something of a mystery. Why would they object to a plan like this? And, are the seriously saying companies should only consider ROI in the decision making process? That is simply absurd! Ironically, history has shown that businesses that do business that way do more poorly on the bottom line over the long term. Doing the right thing, it turns out, is a profitable thing to do.
NCPPR,of course, had a different take on the incident.