Apple has just announced a new (and major) environmental commitment: it wants to neutralize 100% of the carbon footprint of all of its businesses and products (including manufacturing, transportation and material recovery at the end of the use cycle) by 2030. This represents a 20-year anticipation of the goal set by the United Nations (UN) regarding carbon neutrality in industries, defined last year.
It is worth remembering that Apple’s corporate operations are already carbon-free, since 100% clean and renewable sources are used; however, this new commitment means that, by 2030, all Apple devices (from packaging to accessories) will have zero impact on the environment. ?
The following video, released by the company, announces (and contextualizes) this commitment:
Apple is carbon neutral, but that’s not enough.
We achieved this goal in April 2020. We are proud to be able to say that our facilities, company emissions and even our corporate trips do not increase carbon on the planet. We use totally renewable energy and invest in the recovery of forests, wetlands and pastures to eliminate carbon naturally.
All of this is just the beginning. We have a completely different goal in mind. We usually say that it is an ambitious plan. By 2030, all of our carbon emissions will cease to exist: from manufacturing processes, through transportation to material recovery at the end of the use cycle. Apple, as a whole, will be 100% carbon neutral. We will use renewable energy and recycled materials throughout our supply chain, recover natural ecosystems around the world and reuse as much as we can.
While we create the most innovative products in the world, we also develop a sustainable manufacturing process.
Many people say that it is impossible to achieve, in fact, zero carbon emissions to manufacture the most beloved products in the world. We disagree. Keep an eye on our actions and see.
In addition to publicizing its own goal, Apple also intends to encourage other companies to do the same, as industries as a whole seek to reduce their impacts on climate change. In your Environmental Responsibility Report [PDF] this year, released today, the company detailed its plans to reduce pollutant gas emissions by 75% by 2030, while developing innovative carbon removal solutions for the remaining 25% of its business.
To support these efforts, Apple is starting a new project (Impact Accelerator) that will focus on investing in companies that generate positive results in their supply chain and in communities directly affected by industrial activities. This project is part of Apple Equity and Racial Justice Initiative, announced last month, in which the company will invest US $ 100 million.
With the actions already taken by the company and those it intends to comply with, it is expected that the emission of more than 14.3 million tons of carbon dioxide will be eliminated annually – the equivalent of taking more than 3 million cars off the road, all the years. The CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, commented the initiative:
Companies have a profound opportunity to help build a more sustainable future, born out of our common concern for the planet we share. The innovations that drive our environmental journey are not only good for the planet – they have helped us make our products more energy efficient and bring new sources of clean energy around the world. Climate action can be the basis for a new era of innovation, job creation and lasting economic growth. With our commitment to carbon neutrality, we want to be a wave that creates much greater change.
Apple’s vice president of environmental, political and social initiatives, Lisa Jackson, also called for companies and industries to set goals for the environment in a blog post:
For business leaders in all sectors: our children’s eyes are on us. We cannot talk about equality without reducing pollution or limiting our climate efforts to corporate emissions when our real impacts extend deep into the supply chain. We have a generational opportunity to help build a more ecological and fair economy, in which we develop entirely new industries, seeking to give the next generation a planet worth calling home.
As part of that commitment, Apple is also announcing a new carbon solutions fund to invest in restoring and protecting forests and natural ecosystems globally. In partnership with Conservation International, the company will invest in new environmental recovery projects – in addition to initiatives already supported by the company in Africa and Colombia. ?
Carbon neutralization plan
In the next decade, Apple will reduce carbon emissions through a series of actions, some of which have already been adopted by the company a few years ago and others totally innovative. Are they:
- Low-carbon product design: Apple will continue to increase the use of recycled and low-carbon materials in its products, designing them to be as energy efficient as possible.
- Expansion of energy efficiency: the company will identify new ways to reduce energy use in its corporate facilities and help its supply chain make the same transition.
- Renewable energy: Apple will remain with 100% renewable energy for its operations – with a focus on creating new projects and shifting its entire supply chain to clean energy.
- Carbon removal: the company is investing in forests and other natural solutions around the world to remove carbon from the atmosphere.
Environmental Responsibility Report
Among the several highlights of this year’s Environmental Responsibility Report are:
- Apple announced that it is supporting the development of the first carbonless aluminum smelting process, which is already adopted by its two largest suppliers of this material. The first batch of this low carbon aluminum is already being used in the production of the 16 ″ MacBook Pro.
- Through partnerships with its suppliers, Apple reduced emissions of fluorinated gases, harmful to the environment, by more than 242 thousand tons in 2019.
- Globally, Apple is launching one of Scandinavia’s largest solar arrays, as well as two new projects that provide power to underserved communities in the Philippines and Thailand.
- The number of installations participating in the Energy Efficiency Program increased to 92 in 2019; these facilities prevented more than 779,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from the supply chain.
- The investment in clean energy resulted in the supply of more than 594 million square meters of the company’s facilities, reducing electricity needs by almost a fifth and saving the company $ 27 million.
IPhones cases and accessories
In a related note, Apple may have provided another indication that it intends to remove the charger from the boxes of the next iPhones by publicizing its actions in favor of neutralizing carbon emissions.
It is worth remembering that this possibility has been ventilated for some time and Apple itself has consulted its consumers about the use of this accessory. Now, the company has one more (environmental) reason to bring about this change.