The globally recognised technological company, Apple, has recently made a commitment to being 100 percent Carbon Neutral for both, its Supply Chain and Products by the year 2030. Apple’s big plan was just revealed, as the company is already carbon neutral today, for its global corporate operations. This new commitment means that in ten years time, each and every Apple device sold will have net zero climate impact.
“Businesses have a profound opportunity to help build a more sustainable future, one born of our common concern for the planet we share.”Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO
Apple is providing great detail on its approach to carbon neutrality, with a roadmap for other companies. This “roadmap” will help both industries and companies look into reduce their own impact on climate change. In the recent 2020 Environmental Progress Report, Apple revealed its plans to reduce emissions by 75 percent by 2030, whilst developing innovative carbon removal solutions for the remaining 25 percent of its comprehensive footprint.
The Apple vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Lisa Jackson has said, “We’re proud of our environmental journey and the ambitious roadmap we have set for the future.”
The 10 year Apple roadmap will lower carbon emissions with a series of innovative actions that include:
Low carbon product design: Apple will ensure in continuing and increasing the use of low carbon and recycled materials in its products, to remain innovate in product recycling, and design their products to be as energy efficient as possible.
- Apple’s latest recycling innovation (a robot the company is calling ‘Dave’) has the ability to disassemble the Taptic Engine from iPhone to better recover key materials such as rare earth magnets whilst also enabling recovery of steel.
- All iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch devices released in the past year are to be made with recycled content, including 100% recycled rare earth elements in the iPhone Engine, this being a first for any smartphone.
- Apple decreased its carbon footprint by 4.3 million metric tons in 2019 through design and recycled content innovations in its products. Over the past 11 years, Apple has reduced the average energy needed for product use by 73%.
Expanding energy efficiency: Apple will continue to identify new ways in how to lower energy use at its corporate facilities and help it’s supply chain make the same transition.
- Through a new partnership with Apple, the US-China Green Fund will invest $100 million in accelerated energy efficiency projects for all of Apple’s suppliers.
- Last year, Apple invested in energy efficiency upgrades to over 6.4 million square feet of new and existing buildings, this lowered electrical needs by nearly one-fifth and saved the company $27 million.
Renewable energy: Apple will remain at 100% renewable energy for its operations, whilst focusing on creating new projects and moving the entire supply chain to clean power.
- Apple now has commitments from over 70 suppliers to use 100 percent renewable energy for Apple production. Once completed, these commitments will avoid over 14.3 million metric tons of CO2e annually.
- Over 80 percent of the renewable energy that Apple sources for its facilities are now from Apple-created projects, benefitting communities and other businesses.
- Apple will be launching new solar arrays in Scandinavia, with two new projects that will provide power to communities in the Philippines and Thailand.
Process and material innovations: Apple will endeavour to tackle emissions through technological improvements to the processes and materials needed for its products.
- Apple is supporting the development of the first ever, direct carbon free aluminium smelting process through investments and collaboration with two aluminium suppliers.
- The company is announcing that the first batch of this low carbon aluminium is currently being used in production with the 16-inch MacBook Pro.
- Through partnerships with its suppliers, Apple reduced emissions from fluorinated gases by more than 242,000 metric tons in 2019.
Carbon removal: Apple is investing heavily into forests and other nature based solutions around the world to help in the removal of carbon from the atmosphere.
- Apple has announced a carbon solutions fund to invest in the restoration and protection of forests and natural ecosystems from around the world.
- In partnership with Conservation International, the company will invest in new projects, building on learnings from existing work like restoring degraded savannahs in Kenya and a vital mangrove ecosystem in Colombia.
- Through working with different global conservation and wildlife funds, the company has protected and improved the management of over 1 million acres of forests and climate solutions in China, America, Colombia, and Kenya.
“The innovations powering our environmental journey are not only good for the planet — they’ve helped us make our products more energy efficient and bring new sources of clean energy online around the world. Climate action can be the foundation for a new era of innovative potential, job creation, and durable economic growth. With our commitment to carbon neutrality, we hope to be a ripple in the pond that creates a much larger change.” – Apple
To further follow and support these efforts Apple is establishing an ‘Impact Accelerator’ that will focus on investing in minority owned businesses. These particular businesses drive positive outcomes in both, their supply chains and in communities that are excessively affected by environmental troubles. The accelerator is part of Apple’s recently announced $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, that is focused on efforts that address education, economic equality, and criminal justice reform.
Apple is a profoundly prominent company that engages with a range of governments, businesses, NGOs, and consumers from all around the world, to help in supporting policies that strengthen environmental protections and that transition into clean energy. Apple sees these protections and transitions as a pivotal and vital component to help fight and act on global climate action. The company’s complete plan can be found in Apple’s 2020 Environmental Progress Report at apple.com/environment.