“Real innovations change the world. Not the planet.” This is one of Apple ‘s corporate slogans about the environment. This year, the goals and achievements of circular energy and recycling are bigger than ever.
Apple and the environment according to Greenpeace
For years, the company has built its world on a vision of technology that makes its users dream. New products every year, sleek designs, high-performance products and… materials and manufacturing processes with a low ecological impact.
This is one of Apple’s priorities in these times of controversy about global warming and the importance of companies to find solutions.
Contrary to popular belief, this is not a more polluting company than these compatriots, on the contrary. In 2017, Greenpeace released a “guide to greener electronics” highlighting mainstream companies and giving them a score by respecting different criteria: energy used; resource consumption and chemicals.
Among 17 companies, Apple ranks second with a grade of B-; a grade much higher than some of its competitors.
This grade reflects good actions in terms of transparency on operations, energy demand, etc. One issue for the company is sustainable design and reduction of company resources. (Greenpeace Apple report).
In April 2017, Apple announced a long-term goal of transitioning the materials used in their products to be 100% closed-loop; but also to eliminate their dependence on new mineral mining.
So, what’s up with that?
Apple and its new version of recycling
Programmed obsolescence, the average life span of a phone, the fact that only 20% of electronic waste is recycled, are the main causes of digital pollution related to the manufacture of devices. Apple knows this and has therefore launched operations to repair Apple products (AppleCare service) and recover products from its users. The program is called Apple Trade In and is based on the principle of recovering Apple products such as Iphone, Macbook and others, against a credit, usable only at the brand.
When you take your device back, we help you erase all your data, then we assess its condition. If it’s in good condition, it will have a second life with a new owner. If not, we’ll recycle it for free so that the materials in it can be reused.
Since the beginning of this program, ⅔ of the Apple devices sent have been redistributed to new users.
But that’s not all. Apple has managed to also change the components of these products by favoring recycled materials:
More than 40 components of the latest iPhones contain recycled plastic.
- The soldering of the motherboards of the iPhone are made of 100% recycled tin
- Macbook Air and Mac mini have recycled aluminum cases.
- The packaging is made from 100% recycled wood fiber.
Here is a new positive and ecological vision of Apple’s products. But what about the production phase and the energy used?
The company’s own energy
What about the energy used by Apple? Since the Paris Agreement, the company has been asserting its willingness to work and offer products that are good for the environment. They encourage all their suppliers to join them in this approach. Currently, 44 suppliers have decided to follow the company on the road to renewable energy. This is just the beginning, as Apple has more than 800 suppliers.
On its side, the company is launching several projects based on renewable energy, with facilities from renewable energy. Apple is also investing in green energy in China and in environmental protection initiatives.
These changes have allowed Apple to reduce its 2018 carbon footprint, a third consecutive year.