Apple CEO Tim Cook to climate deniers: "Get out of this stock"

Cook took a bold stance on environmental issues at Friday's annual shareholder meeting

Published March 2, 2014 3:19PM (EST)

There's no room for climate deniers at Apple, CEO Tim Cook said Friday at the company's annual shareholder meeting.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, a D.C.-based conservative think thank, arrived at the meeting demanding that the board not pursue any environmental initiatives that hurt the company's bottom line. The group's proposal would have required Apple to disclose the costs of such initiatives and to be more transparent about its relationship with "certain trade associations and business organizations promoting the amorphous concept of environmental sustainability"

Cook's response, as reported by Mashable, was priceless: "We do a lot of things for reasons besides profit motive," he told the group. "We want to leave the world better than we found it."

And if the NCPPR wasn't happy with that, he went on, they could just leave. “If you want me to do things only for [return on investment] reasons," he said, "you should get out of this stock."

The NCPPR did not take the rejection well, claiming in their own press release that Cook told investors to "drop dead":

"Here's the bottom line: Apple is as obsessed with the theory of so-called climate change as its board member Al Gore is," said [director of the National Center's Free Enterprise Project Justin] Danhof. "The company's CEO fervently wants investors who care more about return on investments than reducing CO2 emissions to no longer invest in Apple. Maybe they should take him up on that advice."

"Although the National Center's proposal did not receive the required votes to pass, millions of Apple shareholders now know that the company is involved with organizations that don't appear to have the best interest of Apple's investors in mind," said Danhof. "Too often investors look at short-term returns and are unaware of corporate policy decisions that may affect long-term financial prospects. After today's meeting, investors can be certain that Apple is wasting untold amounts of shareholder money to combat so-called climate change. The only remaining question is: how much?"

By Lindsay Abrams

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