Apple’s 2019 Environmental Responsibility Report Focuses on Recycling, Material Recovery
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Apple is committed to building its products while simultaneously trying to “leave our world a better place than we found it,” the company says in its 2019 Environmental Responsibility Report, highlighting the progress the iPhone maker has made in its long-term efforts in renewable energy and recycling. .
The 86 page document, covering fiscal year 2018, was released by Apple on Thursday in the run-up to Earth Day. At a time of year when the company celebrates the environment in its stores and services, Apple is also taking the opportunity to release its annual report to show how it has improved from previous years.
The report’s list of highlights covers a few areas, including how Apple is tackling climate change. All of its global facilities are powered 100% by renewable energy, the report says, with the overall carbon footprint of the company as a whole also down 35% from 2015, and a note stating that there had a 70% drop in average revenue. energy consumption over the past ten years.
Aluminum-related manufacturing emissions are down 45% from a year ago, with overall carbon emissions down 64% since 2011 for Apple’s direct operations.
Apple’s total carbon footprint is estimated at 25.2 million metric tons, of which 74% is attributed to manufacturing, 19% to product use, 5% to transportation, 2% at its corporate facilities and less than 1% are classified as “end of life”. use. Overall, this represents a reduction of 4.8 million metric tonnes of carbon emissions from the 2018 report.
For “Resources”, Apple recalls its change in October 2018 to use 100% recycled aluminum to produce the cases of MacBook Air and Mac mini. For packaging, typically a major contributor to waste, Apple now uses 100% “responsibly sourced wood fiber” in all of its retail packaging, and has 14 priority materials it intends to make. switch to 100% recycled or renewable content.
Apple’s use of plastic in packaging has declined 48% in three years, replacing items like the plastic tray on iPhone and iPad cases with a molded fiber alternative. As of March 2019, all Apple outlets now use 100% fiber bags, which use a knitted paper handle and contain 80% recycled fiber.
When paper was required in its packaging, Apple used recycled paper 58% of the time, while virgin paper came from responsibly managed forests or wood sources controlled by the Forest Stewardship Council. Paper use in company offices accounts for less than 1% of Apple’s fiber use, with 85% of paper coming from recycled or responsible sources.
On the chemical side, all of Apple’s suppliers who carry out final assembly of their products now use safer cleaners and degreasers, reducing the impact on the environment. The detailed chemical comparison data inventory, which shows what goes into Apple products, has been expanded to cover more than 75% by mass of all new iPhone, iPad and Mac products.
Apple is also proud of the absence of potentially harmful chemicals, such as mercury, brominated flame retardants, PVC, phthalate, beryllium, lead in solders, and arsenic in display glass.
“Just over a year ago, we reached our goal of covering 100% of our operations with 100% renewable electricity,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple vice president of environment, policy and initiatives social. “This work continues as we secure the clean energy necessary to maintain this standard, even as our business grows.
At the same time as convincing the supply chain to shift its energy use towards greener versions, which has so far led more than 40 suppliers to join the effort, Jackson adds that Apple enters the next phase of work “to better use and reuse materials with a state-of-the-art laboratory to support our research and innovation with materials recovery.”
“At Apple, it’s simple. We apply the same level of innovation that goes into everything we create, design, power and manufacture to make things better for people and the planet,” writes Jackson, while emphasizing the fact that the company makes life easier for consumers and the planet. partners to do their part. “We are proud to do the hard work, to make inroads and to tirelessly seek out ways to secure the best future for our planet that we all deserve.”