Apple Announces Support for Right to Repair Bill in California

Pam Podger, Communications Director, ppodger@greencentury.com, 802-299-9495

Douglass Guernsey, Shareholder Advocate, dguernsey@greencentury.com, (617) 482-0800

 

(Boston, MA, 2023) In a reversal of its stance, Apple Inc.* announced Wednesday that it now supports the Right to Repair Act progressing through the California Legislature despite past opposition to giving consumers and repair shops the tools they need to fix devices.

Introduced by state Sen. Susan Eggman (D-Stockton), Senate Bill 244 would make it easier and cheaper to get consumer electronics and appliances fixed. Under the bill, manufacturers like Apple must provide consumers or independent repair shops with sufficient documentation, tools, and parts. This bill would also reduce the e-waste currently filling landfills as consumers would be able to repair instead of discarding or upgrading their devices.

Apple, the largest company in the world, had previously opposed allowing users to repair its products, until Green Century and others began negotiations with the company. Green Century’s engagement helped secure an agreement with Apple in 2021 that stated, for the first time, that Apple would provide consumers access to replacement parts, tools and repair manuals needed to perform common repairs to its products.

“We are excited that Apple has announced its support for this important legislation and recognize this is a major step forward for the company,” said Douglass Guernsey, a shareholder advocate with Green Century Capital Management. “By supporting this legislation, Apple is sending a strong message that repairing, not replacing products, is good for consumers, good for the environment, and good for investors.”

California Legislation Part of National Momentum

Apple indicated its support for offering consumers the ability to repair their devices safely, while ensuring they wouldn’t risk privacy or data issues.

“Apple supports California’s Right to Repair Act so all Californians have even greater access to repairs while also protecting their safety, security, and privacy,” the company says in a statement provided to TechCrunch.

The bill specifies that the duration of a manufacturer’s obligation would depend on the product’s cost. Those with a wholesale price of at least $50 would have a shorter time than products that cost more than $100, where the bill specifies that access to documentation tools and parts must be available for seven years.

The California State Assembly has been debating the bill and a vote is expected shortly in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The bill cleared the state Senate in May by a 38-0 vote.

California has been a leader in the Right to Repair movement, with momentum increasing nationally as lawmakers from about 14 states have introduced similar bills. New York, Colorado and Minnesota all passed their own Right to Repair laws in the past year.

A coalition of 82 repair shops have rallied behind the bill, which was backed by CalPIRG, one of the nonprofit owners of Green Century.

According to research by PIRG, the average American family generates about 115 pounds of electronic waste each year, and nationally, the United States generates 6.9 million tons of electronic waste.

 

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 °Green Century Capital Management, Inc. (Green Century) is the investment advisor to the Green Century Funds (The Funds). The Green Century Funds are one of the first families of fossil fuel-free, environmentally responsible mutual funds. Green Century hosts an award-winning and in-house shareholder advocacy program and is the only mutual fund company in the U.S. wholly owned by environmental and public health nonprofit organizations.

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*As of June 30, 2023, Apple Inc. comprised 6.23%, 0.00 %, and 0.00% of the Green Century Balanced Fund, the Green Century Equity Fund, and the Green Century International Index Fund respectively. As of the same date, other securities mentioned were not held in the portfolios of any of the Green Century Funds. References to specific securities, which will change due to ongoing management of the Funds, should not be construed as a recommendation by the Funds, their administrator, or their distributor.

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