Apple’s 2024 Enviro Report: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Cut Over 55% Since 2015

Apple’s Environmental Progress Report 2024

On April 18th, Apple announced in its “2024 Environmental Progress Report” that since 2015, Apple has reduced its total greenhouse gas emissions by over 55%. Apple 2030 is the goal previously set by Apple, aiming to achieve carbon neutrality across its entire value chain by 2030, with the core target being a 75% reduction in emissions based on 2015 levels.

Apple's Environmental Progress

Apple is committed to using only recycled and renewable materials in its products, driving innovations in procurement and design while significantly reducing its carbon footprint. This includes materials crucial for the transition to clean energy. Last year, 56% of cobalt in Apple’s batteries came from recycled sources, more than twice the amount from the previous year.

One example is the MacBook Air with the M3 chip, the first Apple product manufactured with 50% recycled materials. Additionally, 24% of lithium in Apple’s batteries came from certified recycled sources last year, also a groundbreaking achievement. Both lithium and cobalt are obtained by Apple from industrial waste and end-of-life batteries.

Apple has also made significant progress in using copper. In key thermal components of the iPhone 15 and 16-inch MacBook Pro last year, as well as in haptic engines and printed circuit boards in many product lines, 100% recycled copper was used. These advancements underscore the potential of material recycling in meeting the growing demand for critical materials in the future.

Apple's Environmental Progress

To date, Apple’s supply chain’s continuous transition to clean energy has been driving most of the emission reduction efforts. Apple’s supplier clean energy projects currently support over 16.5 gigawatts of renewable energy globally. By prioritizing energy efficiency through collaboration with Apple, over 100 supplier factories achieved electricity savings of over 2 billion kilowatt-hours last year. Together with other major energy-saving measures, these facilities avoided nearly 1.7 million tons of carbon emissions, a 25% increase from 2022.

Apple is also committed to addressing the direct impact of industrial processes on the climate, such as the manufacturing process of flat panel displays emitting high concentrations of fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-GHGs). Each display supplier has pledged to reduce F-GHG emissions to high standards. Apple is working with them to monitor emissions and deploy advanced emission reduction equipment at production sites.

In terms of packaging, Apple’s innovative use of fiber-based plastics has been driving the process of eliminating plastics from packaging. Last year, with the launch of the all-new Apple Watch series and Apple Vision Pro, Apple achieved 100% fiber-based packaging for the first time, marking a significant milestone in this process. Among all the products shipped by Apple last year, only 3% of the packaging was made of plastic.

Apple's Environmental Progress

This week, Apple, in collaboration with the University of British Columbia’s BioProducts Institute, released a new whitepaper analyzing the challenges faced by current consumer goods packaging. Through the use of advanced fiber-based materials, they explored more sustainable future solutions. Furthermore, Apple partnered with the Swedish RISE Research Institute to develop a fiber-based material to replace protective foam widely used in various packaging.

Last year, nearly 12.8 million devices and accessories were sent to new owners through programs like AppleCare and Apple Trade-In, reaching a record high. So far, iPhone 7 can still be traded in through the Trade-In program for value. Apple responsibly recycles products that no longer hold value, reclaiming valuable materials to breathe new life into future products. Customers can contribute to environmental goals in various ways, from returning old devices for recycling to organizing recycling events or passing on old iPhones to family members.

Article by Wen Jing, Reporter at Beijing Youth Daily

Edited by Tian Ye

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