On the occasion of Earth Day, April 22, 2021, multi-trillion tech giant company “Apple” released a video on Youtube reminding its promise to be 100 Percent Carbon neutral by 2030. The company had already achieved carbon neutrality in April 2020, but this wasn’t enough for them. They want their whole operations from manufacturing to transportation to end-of-life material recovery and their every product to be 100 Percent Carbon Neutral free. You can even check Apple’s progress on Apple.com/Environment.
Currently, Apple operates on 100 per cent renewable electricity. Furthermore, the company has invested highly in the restoration of forests, wetlands, and grasslands to tackle carbon naturally. Likewise, On June 21, 2020, the company also shared its plan to the public on how they aim to achieve 100 Percent Carbon Neutral Free by 2030. First and foremost, the company is set to use renewable energy and recycled material throughout its supply chain. Similarly, they will work to restore natural ecosystems around the world.
Whilst making the most innovative products, the company is pushing themselves to make even their manufacturing process sustainable. Not just the manufacturing process but also other processes like designing, shipping, usage, packaging, and recycling. Therefore, by 2030 every Apple product like iPhone, iMac, Mac Book, and AirPods will be made via 100 Percent recycled materials or renewable materials.
Nevertheless, Apple innovates new ways to extract materials like aluminium, steel, tin, tungsten, and plastic from recycled products. The company is planting trees as well as recycling enough papers to sustain its packaging process. Hundreds of Apple manufacturers, testers, assemblers, distributors, dis-assemblers, and material-makers are also upgrading to 100 Percent renewable energy. Many of them are even going zero-waste. Thereafter, every Apple device will have a net-zero climate impact.
Apple and Sustainability
Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, stated, “Businesses have a great opportunity to help in building a more sustainable future. The innovations innovated whilst keeping the environment in mind won’t just help the planet. Still, they will also make products more energy-efficient and introduce the use of clean energy around the world. Climate action has the power to lay the foundation for a new era of more innovations, job opportunities as well as durable economic growth.”
Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy as well as Social Initiatives, Lisa Jackson, followed up by saying, “We are very proud of the ambitious roadmap we have aimed for the future and also for our environmental journey. Climate change and systemic Racism are not separate issues and don’t abide by separate solutions. So now we have the opportunity to build a greener world by investing and manufacturing 100 Percent Renewable Products.” The company aims to reduce all emissions by 75 percent by the year 2030. Also, they are developing innovative carbon removal solutions, which will come in handy for the remaining 25 Percent of its all-around footprint.
Currently, Apple’s Prineville data centre is powered by the Montague wind farm in Oregon, USA. It is also the company’s largest project worth 200 MW (MegaWatts). Moreover, Apple, along with 10 of its suppliers in China, is set to invest USD. 300 million on developing a project worth 1 GW (GigaWatts) of renewable energy. However, today over 80 percent of the renewable energy that the company uses comes from their own developed projects.
Also, since 2014, every Apple’s data centre is powered by 100 percent renewable energy. Furthermore, the company supports developing an aluminium production method that releases oxygen instead of greenhouse gases while smelting. Similarly, their latest Dave robot is a recycling invention that recovers material from old iPhones components that can be used in future products.
Likewise, Apple has partnered with Conservation International to restore degraded savannas in the Chyulu Hills region of Kenya. Also, these two are working to protect as well as restore 27,000-acre mangrove forests in Colombia. In case you didn’t know, mangroves have the ability to store up to 10 times more carbon than forests on land do. Nonetheless, the company engages with governments, businesses, consumers as well as NGOs around the world. Therefore, it helps in strengthening environmental protections as well as in the transition to clean energy. Check Out Apple’s Environmental Progress Report 2020 to know more about the company’s plan on global climate action as well as carbon footprint.
Apple’s Climate Action Roadmap
Apple had already unveiled its 10-year plan roadmap to the public last year. This roadmap’s main goal is to lower emissions, go fully renewable, achieve zero waste and make every product 100 percent renewable. The road has a series of innovative actions, and we will be talking about it all. So, with no furthermore to do, let’s start.
1. Low Carbon Product Design
The company plans to work on increasing the use of low carbon and recycled materials in its products. Similarly, they are also working on product recycling and a product designed to be energy efficient. Right now, the company uses two robots, Dave and Daisy. We have already talked about Dave and Daisy as an iPhone disassembly robot.
Their Material Recovery Lab based in Austin, Texas, which works regarding electronics recycling technology, is currently working with Carnegie Mellon University to develop their engineering solutions further. Previously, Apple products, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch, were made with recycled content in 2019. Therefore, this resulted in a decrease in carbon footprint by 4.3 million metric tonnes in 2019. Likewise, over the past 11 years, the company has reduced the average energy needed for production use by a whopping 73 percent.
2. Expanding Energy Efficiency
Nonetheless, the company is working on different innovative ways to lower energy use. This goes for corporate facilities as well as its whole supply chain. Also, the US-China Green Fund is set to invest USD. 100 million on accelerating energy efficiency projects for the company’s suppliers through a new partnership.
Likewise, 92 facilities had already participated in this Energy Efficiency Program in 2019. Furthermore, these facilities have avoided over 779,000 annualized metric tons of supply chain carbon emissions since then. In 2019, Apple nearly lowered one-fifth of electricity needs and saved almost USD. 27 million by investing in energy efficiency upgrades to over 6.4 million square feet of new and existing buildings.
3. Renewable Energy
Currently and for years to come, the company will use 100 Percent renewable energy for its operations. The company is also focusing on creating new projects. Therefore, it will transit its energy supply chain to clean power. Right now, more than 70 suppliers have committed to 100 Percent renewable energy for Apple’s production. The number nearly transforms to 8 GW (GigaWatts). Once achieved, this will avoid over 14.3 million metric tons of C02e annually.
Apple’s new renewable projects in Arizona, Oregon, and Illinois have brought the company almost 1 GW (GigaWatts) of clean power for its corporate operations. This amount of power can power over 150,000 homes a year. Moreover, the company has now launched one of its largest new solar arrays in Scandinavia along with two other projects that will power underserved communities in Thailand and the Philippines.
4. Process and material innovations
Apple is also trying to tackle and remove emissions through its technological improvements. They are working regarding processes as well as materials needed for their products. For example, with investment and collaboration through two of its aluminium suppliers, the company is developing the first-ever direct carbon-free aluminium smelting process. Also, the company has already announced its 16-inch MacBook Pro that uses the first batch of this low carbon aluminium.
The company has already reduced more than 242,000 metric tons of fluorinated gases in 2019 whilst partnering with its suppliers. This has directly contributed to action towards global warming and climate change.
5. Carbon Removal
For carbon removal, Apple has highly invested in forests as well as other nature-based solutions. They are doing this around the world thereafter removing carbon from the atmosphere. Apple may be one of the first of its kind to go for this carbon solution. They are restoring as well as protecting forests as well as natural ecosystems globally.
We have already talked about its partnership with Conservation International and the steps they are taking. Likewise, they are cooperating with the Conservation Fund, World Wildlife Fund, and Conservation International. To this date, Apple has protected or improved over 1 million acres of forests. This also goes for natural climate solutions they implemented in China, the US, Colombia, and Kenya.
It seems as if Apple is bringing tight competition to social media giant company ‘Facebook’ which recently announced becoming one of the Largest corporate buyers of renewable energy (interlink Facebook news in this line). So it seems in this war of utilizing and going 100 Percent Renewable Energy between Big Oil Companies and Big Tech Companies, Big Tech Companies are leading the race by miles.
However, this battle is beneficial for us all living beings on this planet because it will contribute to greenery and is an action towards serious problems like global warming and climate change that is degrading our mother earth as time passes by.