Apple has promised to make its supply chain and products carbon neutral by 2030 by funding renewable energy projects and recycling robots.
Apple has set out its stall to be totally carbon neutral by the end of this decade, with a roadmap setting out how it will power both its own and suppliers’ plants, accelerate recycling efforts and further carbon removal.
The tech giant stated in 2018 that its operations facilities were powered entirely by renewable electricity, but it is now looking to expand that to its supply chain. More than 70 of its suppliers have committed to use 100pc renewable electricity for Apple production. The resulting reduction in emissions would be the equivalent of the removal of 3m cars off the road each year.
‘With our commitment to carbon neutrality, we hope to be a ripple in the pond that creates a much larger change’
– TIM COOK
Apple also said that the number of facilities participating in the company’s Supplier Energy Efficiency programme grew to 92 in 2019, which reduced carbon emissions by 779,000 annualised metric tonnes.
Carbon-free aluminium smelting
Over the course of 2019, energy efficiency upgrades to more than 6.4m sq ft of new and existing Apple buildings have lowered electricity needs by almost one-fifth.
On the production side, Apple said that it plans to further expand the use of its recycling robot, named ‘Dave’, that disassembles the Taptic Engine from iPhones to recover rare earth minerals, such as magnets and tungsten, as well as steel.
Through two of its aluminium suppliers, Apple claims to have supported the development of the first-ever direct carbon-free aluminium smelting process. Now, the first batch of this low-carbon aluminium is being used in the production of its latest MacBook Pro.
The company said it decreased its carbon footprint in production by 4.3m metric tons last year through redesigns and innovations in its products. On the carbon removal front, Apple announced today (21 July) a carbon solution fund to invest in the restoration and protection of forests and natural ecosystems globally.
‘We hope to be a ripple in the pond’
“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,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook.
“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.”
A new ‘Impact Accelerator’ has also been launched to support minority-owned businesses working on innovations in supply chain in communities disproportionately affected by environmental hazards. This, Apple said, is part of the company’s recently announced $100m Racial Equity and Justice Initiative to address education, economic equality, and criminal justice reform.
Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice-president of environment, policy and social initiatives, said: “Systemic racism and climate change are not separate issues, and they will not abide separate solutions.”