It’s going to reduce emissions by 75% by 2030 while developing innovative carbon removal solutions for the remaining 25% of its comprehensive footprint.
Few companies can claim to have changed the world and Apple Inc is one of them. Beyond lofty vision and mission statements, Apple actually has done it.
First, it transformed completely how we consume music with the iPod. Then it set the precedence for how the modern day smartphone looks like. It even went on to upend the generations-old Swiss watch industry with its Apple watch – there are now more Apple watches sold than Swiss watches.
Its latest announcement adds another feather to its world-changing hat: The world’s largest tech company is going completely carbon neutral by 2030.
“By 2030 we will be carbon neutral across Apple’s entire footprint,” explains Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives. “That means all of our emissions have to be zero-ed out, whether they’re from us or anyone in our supply chain or the energy our customers use to power their devices. It’s a really huge goal. Even saying it, I always get a little lump, because I know how much work is involved in doing it, but we have a very detailed plan.”
Apple’s detailed approach is detailed indeed, with a complete 10-year roadmap marking down exactly how it’s going to reduce emissions by 75% by 2030 while developing innovative carbon removal solutions for the remaining 25% of its comprehensive footprint.
You can read it in its entirety on the official Apple news room here.
As big a feat as Jackson describes it, this is why it’s not just another CSR exercise of a pledge and has the impact to change the world.
Apple is the largest tech company in the world
As the pioneer for so many modern day devices that have become as ubiquituous as they are advanced for their time, Apple has a lot of followers. More than just popularity, it is the recorded tech company with the most profits of US$59 billion in 2019, as reported by Forbes. For that, consumers, brands, marketing experts and basically everyone who sets the tone of the modern capitalist world will be looking to Apple for which direction to take next. This decision of Apple to look towards saving the planet will have competitors from Samsung to Huawei and even Google at least setting their eyes on greener initiatives as they try to keep up with, if not emulate, Apple’s success. As founder Steve Jobs himself once said “Good artists copy; great artists steal”.
Apple knows its own weaknesses and seeks to rectify it
Tech has always had a big climate problem, from the mining of materials required to make them, the energy it takes to power devices and the residues it leaves behind. Apple knows this and is seeking to overcome their shortcomings from the start to end of its entire supply chain. It begins at its design (Apple will continue to increase the use of low carbon and recycled materials in its products, innovate in product recycling and design products to be as energy efficient as possible), expands energy efficiency (by identifying new ways to lower energy use at its corporate facilities and help its supply chain make the same transition) and works on process and material innovations (by making technological improvements to its processes and materials). It’s a comprehensive plan that is as realistic and paves the way as an example of how other companies can – and should – plan their own chains.
Apple is leading by example
Efforts to better the environment is not at all new to Apple’s causes, having been part of their practices for a great part of the last decade now. Currently, it is working with over 70 suppliers that use 100% renewable energy for production. This announcement is a step up to go completely green, and perhaps a push for competitor brands to do the same. Moreover, since a lot of Apple’s suppliers also supply to its rivals, it has laid the groundwork for them to adopt greener practices at a fraction of the hassle.
Apple shows much needed solidarity
All across the world, various industries are thinking about the planet in their move towards the future and Apple makes up the much needed tech representative, joining the ranks of Google, Dell and Tesla Motors. Gucci set the pace for the fashion world, as did Coca-Cola and Starbucks for the lifestyle segment. If ever we needed a voice for change, we’ve never had voices so big as we do today with these brands.
So while we all await with bated breath for news on the iPhone 12 this September, we can wait assured that it’ll, at the very least, be good for the planet.