How green is the iPad mini?

In the run up to last week’s iPad mini event, we heard multiple rumors claiming that Apple’s new tablet would come in multiple colors, like the iPod touch. But obviously, the speculation never materialized.

Like other iPads and iPhones before it, the iPad mini only comes in two colors: white and black. There is, however, one other color that folks seem to be concerned about: green. How green is the iPad mini?

As it turns out, pretty green. Apple has taken the time to lay out the details on the environmental performance of the iPad mini in relation to energy efficiency, material efficiency, and restricted substances.

From Apple’s website on the iPad mini’s energy efficiency:

“iPad mini uses power-efficient components and software that intelligently manages power consumption. In addition, the iPad mini 5W USB Power Adapter outperforms the stringent requirements of the ENERGY STAR specification for external power supplies.”

And on the tablet’s material efficiency:

“Apple’s ultra-compact product and packaging designs lead the industry in material efficiency. Reducing the material footprint of a product helps maximize shipping efficiency. It also helps reduce the energy consumed during production and material waste generated at the end of the product’s life. iPad mini is made of aluminum and other materials highly desired by recyclers.”

The iPad mini’s packaging is equally efficient and highly recyclable. It uses corrugated cardboard made from at least 38% of post-consumer recycled content, and molded fiber made from 100% recycled content.

Apple also points out that the iPad mini doesn’t contain any PVC (polyvinl chloride) or BFR (brominated flame retardant), both considered hazardous materials. And it uses arsenic and mercury-free displays.

The iPad-makers have taken a lot of heat from Greenpeace and other environmentalists for not doing enough to lower its environmental impact. In fact, Steve Jobs wrote an open letter a few years ago on the topic.

In recent years, however, the company appears to be stepping up its green game. It just completed construction on one of the largest solar farms in the world to help power its Maiden, North Carolina data center. And it says it plans to have all of its data centers running on 100% renewable energy within the decade.