Apple saves 861,000 tons of precious metals by ditching iPhone chargers

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iPhone 12 box
Miss power chargers from your iPhone box? The environment doesn't.
Photo: Marco Verch/Flickr CC

Apple has saved 861,000 metric tons of copper, tin, and zinc ore by removing power adapters from iPhones, starting last year. That’s one of the tidbits from Apple’s factoid-studded Environmental Progress Report, released Friday.

It showcases how Apple is working toward its efforts of achieving net carbon neutrality across its whole supply chain by 2030. As Apple notes, that includes “How [an Apple product is] designed, how it’s made, how it’s shipped, how it’s used, [and] how it’s recycled.”

The report, which takes the form of a white paper and accompanying mini-site, features no storage of facts about Apple’s sustainability ambitions. Along with the power adapter factoid, other notable ones include:

  • Apple’s wind turbines in Esbjerg, Denmark, produce enough energy each year to power almost 20,000 homes.
  • Siri, iMessage, and iCloud all run on sustainable energy.
  • Switching to the Apple M1 chip for Mac mini reduced the energy needed to use the device and drove down the overall carbon footprint by 34 percent.
  • Renewable energy brought online to our supply chain has helped avoid over 8 million metric tons of carbon emissions.

The report describes how Apple is trying to make its products more power efficient and the steps that it is taking to ensure carbon neutrality across its entire supply chain. You can visit the Apple mini-site here, while the report (.PDF) is available to read online as well.

Apple’s environmental focus

Environmental issues have been a big focus of Apple’s under the leadership of Tim Cook. Since 2015, Apple has achieved consistent reductions in its carbon footprint. That is even as net revenue has increased. Cook has long been a passionate proponent of sustainability. In one of the few times he has appeared less than 100% cool and calm in public, he told investors to sell their Apple stock if they don’t care about Apple’s environmental efforts.

Apple’s Environmental Progress Report precedes Earth Day on April 22. It also comes one day after Apple unveiled a $200 million fund to back responsible forestry efforts globally. This Restore Fund, launched with partners Conservation International and Goldman Sachs, seeks to remove at least 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.