Apple’s own operations have been 100% carbon neutral for more than two years, and received a UN award for this, but the company has today made a bold commitment for the same to be true of its entire supply-chain by 2030. The company is promoting this on its homepage, calling it ‘a planet-size plan.’

Apple started working on greening its supply-chain back in 2015, and VP Lisa Jackson provided an update last year.

The company said its commitment includes boosting its use of recycled materials and recycling of discarded products so that carbon neutrality applies to the complete life-cycle of all Apple products …

Apple laid out a 10-year road-map.

Apple today unveiled its plan to become carbon neutral across its entire business, manufacturing supply chain, and product life cycle by 2030. The company is already carbon neutral today for its global corporate operations, and this new commitment means that by 2030, every Apple device sold will have net zero climate impact.

Apple’s 10-year roadmap will lower emissions with a series of innovative actions, including:

Low carbon product design: Apple will continue to increase the use of low carbon and recycled materials in its products, innovate in product recycling, and design products to be as energy efficient as possible […]

Expanding energy efficiency: Apple will identify new ways to lower energy use at its corporate facilities and help its supply chain make the same transition […]

Renewable energy: Apple will remain at 100 percent renewable energy for its operations — focusing on creating new projects and moving its entire supply chain to clean power […]

Process and material innovations: Apple will tackle emissions through technological improvements to processes and materials needed for its products […]

Carbon removal: Apple is investing in forests and other nature-based solutions around the world to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

The iPhone maker provides specifics for each of these, stating what has been achieved to date on the environmental front, and what it has planned. For example, for low carbon product design:

  • 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.

The company does admit that carbon removal programs will form part of how it will become 100% carbon neutral, which is not the same as not generating it in the first place, but it’s still a huge commitment – and one that Apple helps will inspire others.

“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.”

The company’s environment microsite has links to the detailed plan. It’s also promoted with a powerful new video, below.

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