Greenpeace has welcomed Apple CEO Steve Jobs and his commitment to a "greener Apple", but plans to maintain the pressure.

"We look forward to working with the new, greener Apple in future – toward the greening of the entire electronics industry," the organisation said.

Greenpeace also raised its ranking on the company's environmental policy from 2.5 to 5 out of a total potential score of 10. This score hasn't yet been updated on the campaigning group's website, but has been reported across various US media.

In an extensive report published last night, Jobs took the wraps off several elements of Apple's existing environmental policy, and talked briefly about some of the company's targets to take the lead in tackling environmental computer productions.

"Apple is already a leader in innovation and engineering, and we are applying these same talents to become an environmental leader," said Jobs.

He also promised to phase out some extremely damaging chemicals from its product designs "by 2008", a move Greenpeace welcomed.

"Apple has declared a phase out of the worst chemicals in its product range, Brominated Fire Retardants (BFRs) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) by 2008. That beats Dell and other computer manufactures' pledge to phase them out by 2009. Way to go Steve!"

PVC is used to make flexible plastics as used in wiring and other electrical components, while BFR is used to coat motherboards to make sure they don't catch fire as a result of the heat of computer processors.

Greenpeace has happily accepted Apple's environmental promise, but now wants the company to initiate a global recycling scheme in order to improve its environmental ranking.

"While customers in the US will be able to return their Apple products for recycling knowing that their gear won't end up in the e-waste mountains of Asia and India, Apple isn't making that promise to anyone but customers in the US.  Elsewhere in the world, an Apple product today can still be tomorrow's e-waste. Other manufacturers offer worldwide takeback and recycling. Apple should too."

While Jobs didn't promise this, some of his comments suggest the company will eventually be able to deliver on such demands, starting with the 100 million-selling iPod.

"This summer we’re expanding (the iPod take back scheme) to Apple retail stores worldwide," he said. "We’re also extending it to include free shipping from anywhere in the US," he announced, adding, "no product purchases are required for any of our free take back programs."

Greenpeace wants consumer electronics manufacturers to continue to embrace environmental concerns, adding: "Apple hasn't gotten an actual green product to market, but no other electronics manufacture has either," the organisation added, "That's a race worthy of the wizards of Cupertino."

Apple will become the apple of Greenpeace's eye if it attempts to apply its innovation and technology leadership to show other electronics manufactuers how to seize the green initiative.

“Apple’s new commitment to environmental transparency and the phase out of the worst chemicals in its product range are genuine steps forward,” said the group.