Steve Jobs promoted this amazing brand with “think different” as a slogan, and now Apple products help the planet by embracing the legacy and thinking differently.
Now, Lisa P. Jackson is leading the environmental efforts at Apple as vice president of Environmental Initiatives. And the team she is leading works with all involved parties to puh the progress towards achieving Apple’s commitments to addressing the Climate Change issue.
Apple Inc. has dedicated an adequate portion on their website for the cause, and to report their efforts and progress.
Their efforts to solve environmental issues didn’t stop during the pandemic. And also their donations to help the economy and community during this difficult event have reached about $15 million worldwide until March 2020.
In this blog post, I will summarize the most important actions Apple has taken to help the environment. Let’s begin with Apple’s commitment.
Apple’s Commitment and how their products help the planet
Now, Apple is fully carbon neutral in terms of corporate emissions. However, it is still not on the supply chain and product side. So the company is committing to be 100% carbon neutral by 2030.
This means that their entire business should be net-zero by this time, as per the commitment.
They are not just doing this by following known practices. They are innovating and thinking differently – as usual – to achieve the company goals in this area. And this is by reducing emissions in the first place and developing solutions to remove carbon footprint if it has to happen.
They are building energy-efficient products that are easily recyclable. And this helped Apple in 2019 alone to decrease its carbon footprint by 4.3 million metric tons.
And they have created the US-China Green Fund and increased the participation in the company’s Supplier Energy Efficiency program as well as other investments in the field.
Although Apple is now relying 100% on renewable energy sources, it is encouraging suppliers to be the same, especially in Apple’s production. And 80% of those renewable energy sources are based on projects created by Apple itself.
What are some of the steps Apple is taking?
In terms of the steps Apple is taking to fulfill its commitment, we can start with product design.
By redesigning products, Apple was apple to reduce energy consumption by 73% and ensure sustainability by relying on durable materials in order to increase the lifetime of the products. Also, they innovated 100% recyclable custom material for some of their products like iPhone and MacBook Air.
Most of the products’ packaging is mainly made from fibers instead of plastic, and the shopping bags in Apple stores are all made from recyclable fibers. And if a product needs any type of plastic to be used, they use a recyclable type of plastic. Of course, they use paper as well. But when they do they get it from wood which they extract from sustainably managed forests.
Besides that, and adding to the amazing innovations, Apple has created two types of robots. Daisy is responsible for disassembling, removing, and sorting material from recycled products. And Dave helps in recovering those disassembled components to get the most use out of them.
Daisy is amazing by the way. It can recover material from 200 devices per hour, and these 200 devices can fall into 15 different iPhone models. And for Daisy and Dave to work, they need to have old used products. And to get these old products, Apple has created the Trade-In program.
Innovative Recycling Through Trade-In
So, now you have an old Apple device. It can be a smartphone, tablet, computer, or even a watch and you want to get rid of it. Just don’t.
With Apple Trade-In Program you can get value in many ways from your old device. You can get credit in exchange for it to use in your next device purchase. Or, you can get an Apple Store Gift Card in exchange for it. And if it is not in a good condition to be re-used and not eligible for credit, you can just request from Apple to recycle it for you for free.
I know you may say: Why would I give it away for free?
Simply, because we both know that it will end up in your drawer or in the trash. So it has no use to anyone even the environment. It may even harm it by adding more waste and carbon footprint.
So, by giving it to Apple to recycle it for free, you help the planet in two ways. You help it by not throwing more waste at it, and by reducing the extraction from its material to create new devices.
And by the way, the device doesn’t have to be an Apple product. It can be from any other brand, even Samsung. Can you believe this?
If your old device is an iPhone, it will meet Daisy. The robot will disassemble it carefully and it can recover the precious resources inside to build a new device.
To trade your device in a store or online, you will just answer a few questions and get an estimate. Once you accept the estimate, you can get the credit “or call it the discount” you want, or if you aren’t going to buy a new one now, just take the gift card as I said before to use it whenever you like.
Suppliers are part of the equation
Apple is continuing to make partnerships with suppliers in order to help to protect the planet. It created a Zero Waste Program to make sure nothing in the production process of Apple products is sent to landfills. They currently have in the program about 155 supplier sites.
They even created their own recyclable materials, if the required material doesn’t exist or the available ones are not recyclable. And since 2015 they succeeded in avoiding 1.3 million metric tons of waste. They are also helping suppliers to avoid wasting water, which led to the conservation of 9.3 billion gallons of water in 2019 alone.
They also helped in preventing more than 1 million annualized metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and 92 suppliers participated in the Energy Efficiency Program in 2019.
How can we help the planet as well?
The great thing about Apple’s care about the environment is that they innovate as usual. Think about building Daisy and Dave for the purpose of efficiently reusing important material from used old devices, instead of looking and mining for fresh material from the earth.
In Apple, they create their own material, their own processes, and projects to serve the cause utilizing their own skills and talents. You feel as if Steve Jobs is still alive and leading these innovations with passion. But you feel so because he left a legacy, a culture that everyone follows and shares, which makes Apple brand unique even in sustainability efforts.
From lowering to removing carbon footprint, and helping suppliers becoming net-zero as well, and relying on renewable resources most of them created by Apple itself. This tells us that when big brands support a cause, they really help.
But should we only rely on big brands to help the planet while we keep increasing waste? Or should we start becoming eco-conscious and use only eco-friendly products?
I will be glad to know about your journey to the eco-friendly lifestyle in the comments below.