Apple’s 2030 carbon-neutral pledge covers itself and suppliers

Apple’s 2030 carbon-neutral pledge covers itself and suppliers

Robot Dave

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Apple has said that a new robotic device called Dave will be used to extract rare earth magnets from old devices

Apple has announced the goal of becoming carbon neutral across its entire production and production chain by 2030.

The company says the commitment means that its devices will have had “zero climate impact” in the store.

He told BBC News that any company that hopes to become a supplier should commit to “being 100% renewable for its Apple production” within 10 years.

Follows the climate-focused commitments of other tech giants.

Microsoft went further, promising:

  • be carbon negative by 2030
  • by 2050, for removing the same amount of carbon that has ever been emitted from the environment

It has also just announced the creation of a consortium involving Nike, Starbucks and Mercedes-Benz, among others, to share information on carbon reduction technologies.

Amazon has set a target for 2040 to become carbon neutral, reflecting the challenges it faces in converting its home vehicles into greener energy sources.

And Google has said it also plans to extend the neutral carbon status it claims for its operations to include its supply chain, but hasn’t set a deadline yet.

Companies often note that their goals are years ahead of the 2050 goal of the intergovernmental group for climate change of zero net carbon dioxide emissions, which according to the IPCC is needed to limit global warming.

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Apple is investing in renewable energy infrastructure as part of its zero-emission commitment

But the environmental campaign group Greenpeace told BBC News that technology giants were among the most profitable companies in the world and therefore had a responsibility to act quickly.

“I am happy to see that Apple has collaborated with suppliers for the supply of effective renewable energy and that it has not relied on low-impact solutions such as compensation or renewable energy credits,” said Elizabeth Jardim, Greenpeace’s senior advertising campaign in the United States.

“But I want to see how the company is gradually eliminating its dependence on fossil fuels during its operations on a short-term timeline.

“At present, the company has matched the data center’s demand for energy with renewable sources and has committed itself to doing the same for its supply chain.

“But this is not the same as the gradual elimination of fossil fuel consumption.”

On the contrary, he added, Google has pledged to upgrade its data centers with renewable energy all day long.

Apple recognizes that its plan includes investments in new eco-friendly projects, as well as the purchase of green energy compensations to compensate for a continuous use of carbon fuels.

It intends to reduce its current carbon footprint emissions by an additional 75% before the 2030 deadline.

But it underlines the fact that a certain use of energy – for example liquid fuel used in long-haul aviation – cannot easily be replaced with a greener alternative.

Rare earth robots

Apple has released a 10-year roadmap that details some of the actions it plans to take.

These include the use of a new robot, nicknamed Dave, to retrieve materials from the vibrant Taptic Engine of the devices returned for recycling.

The part is used to provide tactile feedback to the owners of the company’s smartwatches, tablets, smartphones and laptops.

“Once the engine is removed [by another robot] Daisy, Dave will dismantle the engine itself and remove the rare earth elements and tungsten so that they can be reworked and returned to the supply chains, “said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s environmental manager.

He said that over 70 of the company’s existing suppliers had already committed to using 100% renewable energy to work on its products by 2030.

“Some of the investments we are making is working with suppliers to convince their governments to put more clean energy on the grid,” added Jackson.

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Apple is investing in a project to benefit Colombia’s coastal ecosystem, among other projects

Other efforts announced by Apple include:

  • greater use of recycled raw materials in its products
  • new solar panel projects in Scandinavia to power their data centers
  • the development of a carbon-free aluminum smelting process in collaboration with two suppliers
  • investments in environmental projects, including the restoration of mangrove trees and shrubs on the coast of Colombia and savannahs between forests and meadows in Kenya
  • work on environmentally friendly energy projects for the benefit of local communities, including installing solar panels on the roof in a facility for disadvantaged children in the Philippines and electrification of an off-grid fishing community in Thailand

Carbon neutral v carbon negative

When a company says yes zero emissions, aims to not actually add carbon to the atmosphere.

You can do it through:

  • balancing its emissions, for example by removing a ton of carbon from the atmosphere for each ton produced
  • offsetting its emissions, for example by investing in projects that reduce emissions in other parts of the world
  • firstly, do not release greenhouse gases, for example by switching to renewable energy sources

Until now, most companies have focused on offsetting emissions to achieve neutrality.

This often involves funding projects in developing economies to reduce carbon emissions there, for example building hydroelectric power plants, encouraging families to stop using wood stoves and helping companies use energy. solar. These reductions are then deducted from the production of the main company.

The result of this slows down carbon emissions rather than reversing them.

To be negative carbon a company must actually remove more carbon from the atmosphere than it emits.

Microsoft said it will do so using a range of carbon capture and storage technologies.

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