Apple (and its entire supply chain) will be 100% carbon neutral by 2030

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Apple Park leads the way forward for sustainability. The rest of Apple's supply chain is following suit.
Photo: Apple

Apple will become carbon neutral across its entire business and manufacturing chain by 2030, the company said Tuesday.

Cupertino’s global corporate operations are already carbon neutral. Now, the company promises that in 10 years’ time, “every Apple device sold will have net zero climate impact.”

Apple shared details of its path to carbon neutrality through a roadmap published in its 2020 Environmental Progress report. The plan involves stepping up its focus on the use of low-carbon and recycled materials in products, helping support suppliers as they embrace energy-saving efforts, the creation of a new iPhone recycling robot called “Dave,” a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University to explore new “engineering solutions” for the scheme, and more.

Most significant of these could be Apple’s support of its supply chain. As the company previously pointed out, the overwhelming majority of its carbon footprint exists in the supply chain. Helping those companies become carbon neutral will make a big difference.

Carbon neutral by 2030. But good things happening already

Apple also stressed several positive developments from the past year. These include growing the number of facilities in Apple’s Supplier Energy Efficiency Program to 92, and investing in energy efficiency upgrades to more than 6.4 million square feet of new and existing buildings. This lowered Apple’s electricity use by almost one-fifth.

Finally, Apple says that all iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch devices released over the past year were created with recycled materials. It writes that:

“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.”

Apple’s focus on transforming itself into an eco-friendly company is certainly impressive. It wasn’t all that long ago, while Apple was under the leadership of Steve Jobs, that Greenpeace criticized the company for not doing anywhere near enough. It’s all part of CEO Tim Cook’s quest to make Apple a “force for good” in the world.