Apple has a green dig at Samsung in new ad

"There are some ideas we want every company to copy," says Apple, adding a thinly veiled dig at rivals like Samsung to new environmental-themed adverts.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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Solar power burn! Apple takes a dig at Samsung in new print ads Rich Trenholm / CNET

They just can't help themselves, can they? Apple's new environmental ads highlighting renewable energy include a dig at Samsung: "There are some ideas we want every company to copy." Ouch -- solar power burn!

To coincide with Earth Day today, Apple has launched a green-themed marketing campaign, also expanding its recycling programme to cover any Apple product or device. But it's also used the environmentally friendly adverts to take another less-than-friendly pop at Samsung, with which Apple is locked in a bitter legal battle over alleged imitation.

"There's one area where we actually encourage others to imitate us," reads the body of Apple's print ad on the back page of UK newspapers, including The Guardian and free commuter paper Metro.

"When everyone makes the environment a priority, we all benefit," the ad continues. "We'd be more than happy to see every data centre fuelled by 100 per cent renewable energy sources. And we eagerly await the day when every product is made without the harmful toxins we have removed from ours."

Samsung declined to comment. Apple has not responded to our request for a comment at the time of writing.

Watch this: Apple, Samsung enter the courtroom for round two

Apple has previously come under fire for its green record, but was the most improved company in the most recent Greenpeace report on clean energy use in IT, released this month.

All of Apple's data centres are powered entirely by renewable energy, including the Maiden data centre in North Carolina. Maiden is the centrepiece of Apple's environmental advertising, including a new promo video voiced by Apple boss Tim Cook himself. It's powered by a sun trap of solar panels generating 167 million kilowatt‑hours of renewable energy per year -- enough, Apple reckons, to power the equivalent of 13,837 homes. Apple's planned new "spaceship" headquarters in Cupertino, California, is also set to be largely powered by renewable energy.

Apple's 'spaceship'-like campus reboot (images)

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To celebrate Earth Day, Apple stores have changed the leaf on the company logo to green, and staff will wear green t-shirts for the week. You can find out more about Apple's carbon footprint, environmental initiatives and recycling programme at apple.com/environment.

Currently, you can trade in your iPhone or iPad and get a gift card to knock some money off buying a new one. Now the fruit-flavoured company is extending its recycling to accept any Apple product, no matter the age or condition. You'll only get a gift card, however, if the device is fit to be refurbished and resold.

Apple's Earth Day print advert takes a dig at rivals Apple

Meanwhile, the legal scrap between Apple and Samsung continues, with billions of dollars at stake over claims of patent infringement. Both sides have taken shots at each other in ads before: in a thinly veiled dig at the all-shapes-and-sizes scope of Samsung's Galaxy range, Apple snipes that rivals " confuse abundance with choice", while Samsung has repeatedly derided the iPhone as fit only for hipster sheep and old geezers.