June 17 - Apple has gone from dog to darling in the eyes of some leading environmental fund managers. Fred Katayama reports.
The iPhone, they now condone. Apple has become the new apple of the eyes of some leading green fund managers. It's now the top holding of the Parnassus Core Equity Fund, Calvert Equity Portfolio, and the Green Century Balanced Fund. That may come as a surprise. Environmentalists had criticized Apple in the past for hiring underage workers, using toxic materials, and its high levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions. But the company has cleaned up much of its act --- boosting recycling and using sun, wind and water energy to power its data centers, among other things. The green fund, Portfolio 21 Global Equity, bought Apple shares three years ago after the company began providing more emissions data. Its senior portfolio manager Anthony Tursich calls the world's most valuable company, "The one stock you just can't ignore." Especially considering its stock performance, Apple has risen 15 percent this year, triple the performance of the S&P 500. Green managers will keep an eye on Apple, but so will one of its board directors, environmentalist and former vice president Al Gore.