During the iPhone 12 series launch, Apple announced that it is discontinuing chargers and earpods from the retail box. While many accused the move to be a tactic to grow its profit margins, Apple said it wanted to reduce the carbon footprint by manufacturing less plastic materials. This was a step forward in the company’s goal to become ‘Carbon Neutral’ by 2030. Months later, Apple has now released the Environmental Progress Report. The company saved 861,000 metric tons of copper, tin, and zinc ore just last year by removing power adapters from iPhone boxes.
Apple also says that its products now use more recycled materials than ever, “like the 40 percent recycled content in the MacBook Air with Retina display, and the 99 percent recycled tungsten we now use in iPhone 12 and Apple Watch Series 6.”
“Several of our products use 100 percent recycled aluminum in their enclosures— including our latest MacBook Air, Mac mini, and the latest iPad devices. And all enclosures made with virgin aluminum for products released in 2020 were smelted using hydroelectricity rather than fossil fuels—for a lower carbon impact. As a result of these changes, our carbon emissions associated with aluminum have decreased by 72 percent since 2015,” the report reads. Apple has already reduced its carbon footprint by 40 percent since 2015. Apple also reveals that it has avoided over 15 million metric tonnes of emissions through initiatives to use low-carbon materials, drive energy efficiency, and switch to clean energy. The tech giant says cloud-based and AI services like iCloud, Siri and iMessage, are now running completely on sustainable energy. Further, by switching from Intel chips to Apple M1 chip for Mac mini, Apple also reduced the energy consumption to bring down the overall carbon footprint by 34 percent.
The report also reveals that the iPad (8th gen) consumes 66 percent less energy than the requirement for ENERGY STAR owing to a more energy-efficient power adapter, and the iPhone 12 consumes 53 percent less energy than the US Department of Energy requirements for battery charger systems.
Last week, Apple also announced a $200 million fund to invest in timber-producing commercial forestry projects to remove carbon from the atmosphere while also generating profit. The fund aims to remove one million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually from the atmosphere, equal to the amount spewed by more than 200,000 passenger vehicles.