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Apple details ambitious plan to go 100% carbon neutral by 2030

Published Jul 21st, 2020 4:11PM EDT
Carbon Neutral Apple
Image: Apple

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  • Apple today said it plans to go completely carbon neutral by 2030.
  • Over the next 10 years, Apple plans to reduce its emissions by 75% and develop solutions to account for the remaining 25% of its carbon footprint.

Apple earlier today announced its plan to become completely carbon neutral by 2030. While the company is already carbon neutral as it pertains to corporate emissions, Apple’s plan over the next 10 years is to become carbon neutral across the entirety of its supply chain. In short, Apple notes that every product it sells will eventually have a net zero impact on the environment.

“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 said in a press release. “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,” Cook added, “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.”

As to how Apple plans to achieve its carbon neutral goal over the next decade, the company highlights a five-pronged approach that will focus on low carbon product design, lowering its overall energy usage, focusing on renewable energy, innovations as it pertains to processes and materials, and carbon removal.

With respect to low carbon product design in particular, Apple highlights a few of its current achievements:

  • Apple’s latest recycling innovation — a robot the company is calling “Dave” — disassembles the Taptic Engine from iPhone to better recover key materials such as rare earth magnets and tungsten while also enabling recovery of steel, the next step following its line of “Daisy” iPhone disassembly robots.
  • The company’s Material Recovery Lab in Austin, Texas, which is focused on innovative electronics recycling technology, is now partnering with Carnegie Mellon University to further develop engineering solutions.
  • All iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch devices released in the past year are made with recycled content, including 100 percent recycled rare earth elements in the iPhone Taptic Engine — a first for Apple and 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 percent.

Alongside Apple’s pledge to become completely carbon neutral within 10 years, the company also laid out its plan to invest more heavily in minority-owned businesses and to address the fact that environmental hazards, more often than not, tend to disproportionally impact poorer neighborhoods. This plan is part of Apple’s $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative that the company first announced last month. As Apple laid out a few weeks ago, the new program will tackle racial and justice issues in the realms of education, economic equality, and criminal justice reform.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.