The tech giant has unveiled plans to become carbon neutral across its entire business, manufacturing supply chain and product life cycle.
The new commitment means that by 2030, every Apple device sold will have net zero climate impact. The company is already carbon neutral today for its global corporate operations.
Details Apple provides on its approach to carbon neutrality will be provided as a roadmap for other companies looking to reduce their impact on climate change. Its ‘2020 Environmental Progress Report’, released today (22 July 2020), outlines plans to reduce emissions by 75 percent and develop carbon removal solutions for the remaining 25 percent of its footprint.
Apple’s 10-year outlook includes:
- Low carbon product design: Increasing the use of low carbon and recycled materials in products, product recycling and designing products to be as energy efficient as possible. A robot called ‘Dave’ disassembles iPhone taptic engines to recover key materials like rare earth magnets and tungsten, while another called ‘Daisy’ disassembles iPhones. The company’s Material Recovery Lab in Texas has partnered with Carnegie Mellon University to further develop its engineering solutions to innovate electronics recycling technology.
- Expanding energy efficiency: Identifying new ways to lower energy use at corporate facilities and help to make the same changes in its supply change. The US-China Green Fund will invest US$100 million in accelerated energy efficiency projects for Apple suppliers.
- Renewable energy: Apple will remain at 100 percent renewable energy for its operations and focus on creating new projects to move its entire supply chain to clean power. More than 70 of its suppliers have now committed to using 100 percent renewables for Apple production. The company has completed projects in Arizona, Oregon and Illinois and globally it is launching a new solar array in Scandinavia and starting two new projects that will provide power to underserved communities in Thailand and the Philippines.
- Process and material innovations: In collaboration with two of its aluminium suppliers, Apple is supporting the first-ever direct carbon-free aluminium smelting process. The first batch of this low-carbon aluminium is currently being used in production intended for the 16-inch MacBook Pro.
- Carbon removal: The company has announced a carbon solutions fund to invest in the restoration and protection of forests and natural ecosystems globally. This includes restoring degraded savannas in Kenya and a vital mangrove ecosystem in Colombia.
“Businesses have a profound opportunity to help build a more sustainable future, one born of our common concern for the planet we share,” says CEO Tim Cook.
“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 will establish an Impact Accelerator to focus on investing in minority-owned businesses that drive positive outcomes in its supply chain and in communities that are disproportionately affected by environmental hazards. It’s part of the corporation’s US$100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative focused on efforts addressing education, economic equality and criminal justice reform.
“Systemic racism and climate change are not separate issues,” says Lisa Jackson, Apple vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, “and they will not abide separate solutions. We have a generational opportunity to help build a greener and more just economy, one where we develop whole new industries in the pursuit of giving the next generation a planet worth calling home.”