"The self-described conservative think tank was pushing a shareholder proposal that would have required Apple to disclose the costs of its sustainability programs and to be more transparent about its participation in "certain trade associations and business organizations promoting the amorphous concept of environmental sustainability.""
What is so wrong with that request? Forget your opinions and mine, as well as of the think tank. Asking Apple to disclose what it is spending, and where, is a reasonable request. And even if you're a firm believer in the dangers of anthropogenic global warming, you must understand that not all of the organizations doing research or providing information about it are entirely reputable. Information is good. Put it out there. Let stockholders decide.
> During the question and answer session, however, the NCPPR representative asked Mr. Cook two questions, both of which were in line with the principles espoused in the group's proposal.
> The first question challenged an assertion from Mr. Cook that Apple's sustainability programs and goals—Apple plans on having 100 percent of its power come from green sources—are good for the bottom line. The representative asked Mr. Cook if that was the case only because of government subsidies on green energy.
> Mr. Cook didn't directly answer that question, but instead focused on the second question: the NCPPR representative asked Mr. Cook to commit right then and there to doing only those things that were profitable.
Pushing the CEO to commit to a promise to only do things that are profitable is a nice way to change the whole tone of the conversation. The NCPPR rep could've asked it differently without demanding something from the CEO.
The more I hear about Tim Cook, the more I admire him. That was a really great put-down he delivered. There comes a point where you can't reason any further with unreasonable people and you just have to tell them to fuck off.
But, it wasn't a serious request for information. That's what was wrong with the request — it wasn't one. They were trolling. And you don't feed trolls.