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Apple commits to 100 per cent carbon neutrality by 2030

Apple has unveiled a plan to become fully carbon-neutral across its manufacturing supply chain and product life cycle by 2030.

The firm has detailed its plans to reduce emissions by 75 per cent by 2030 while developing carbon removal solutions for the remaining 25 per cent of its footprint.

It plans to increase the use of low-carbon and recycled materials in its products while innovating in product recycling.

Apple has already designed a robot called “Dave” which disassembles the Taptic Engine from iPhones to better recover key materials such as rare earth magnets and tungsten while also enabling recovery of steel

It said that 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.

The firm said it decreased its carbon footprint by 4.3 million tonnes in 2019 through design and recycled content innovations in its products and has reduced the average energy needed for product use by 73 per cent.

“Businesses have a profound opportunity to help build a more sustainable future, one born of our common concern for the planet we share,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

“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.”

It follows similar commitments from Google, which has pledged to make all of its customer shipments carbon-neutral from this year, and Amazon which plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.

Last year, Apple said it was already well on the way towards achieving 100 per cent clean energy in its production lines.

It also invested in energy efficiency upgrades to over 6.4m square feet of new and existing buildings, lowering electricity needs by nearly one-fifth and saving the company $27m.

Since 2014, all of Apple’s data centres have been powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

 

Sam Kimmins from international non-profit the Climate Group, said it was a “major announcement” from a company that “shapes tech and business trends around the world.

“By driving this scale of climate ambition through its supply chain, Apple is making a big, global contribution to the move to clean energy, transport and manufacturing.

“It will have a particularly big impact in some of the most critical markets for tackling greenhouse gases,” he said.

“The 2030 timing is as important as the scale of this move. By then, the whole world needs to halve carbon emissions.

“Apple is proving that the biggest businesses in the world have the power to make that happen.”

Severine Trouillet, global affairs director at Dassault Systèmes, said: “In February, the World Economic Forum said that 2020 would be the year sustainability becomes mainstream.

“The lockdown has certainly accelerated this trend, with consumers becoming more conscious of the products they buy, the businesses they deal with, the packaging they use and the ingredients that go into everyday products.

“This shift in consumer behaviour has been long in the making and is radically transforming the way that organisations operate, with more of a focus on the way products are designed and a growing understanding of the impact of companies on the planet.

“The launch of the ‘Transform to net zero’ group led by Microsoft, Nike, Starbucks and Unilever yesterday, followed by Apple announcing its entire supply chain will become carbon neutral by 2030 last night, are leaps in the right direction and show that sustainability is now a true business driver.”

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