Apple Advances Towards Carbon Neutrality with Fiber-Based Packaging and Recycled Materials

Apple has taken significant steps towards fulfilling its Apple 2030 commitment by introducing a range of initiatives aimed at reducing its carbon footprint and environmental impact.

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Apples initiatives encompass changes in packaging materials, carbon offset strategies, and a focus on using recycled and renewable resources.

One notable development is Apple’s transition to entirely fiber-based packaging for its new Apple Watch lineup. This shift away from traditional materials like plastics represents a significant milestone in making Apple’s popular watch carbon-neutral. Lisa Jackson, Apple’s VP of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives, emphasizes the company’s commitment to innovation to address environmental challenges, stating “achieved an important milestone in making the world’s most popular watch carbon neutral [and] will keep innovating to meet the urgency of the moment.”

This transition extends to the packaging of the iPhone 15 models, where over 99% of the materials used are fiber-based, aligning with Apple’s goal of achieving plastic-free packaging by 2025.

Apple is discontinuing the use of leather across all its product lines, including iPhone accessories and Apple Watch bands. In its place, Apple introduces FineWoven, a new textile made from 68% PCR content. This material offers a soft, suede-like texture and a subtle lustre and is now used in iPhone MagSafe cases, wallets, and the Magnetic Link and Modern Buckle Apple Watch bands.

FineWoven not only provides a more sustainable alternative but also boasts lower emissions compared to traditional leather. Additionally, Apple’s new iPhone 15 and Apple Watch lineup incorporate recycled materials in key components, such as 100% recycled rare earth magnets and 100% recycled cobalt in the battery. Popular accessories like the Sport Loop now feature 82% recycled yarn, partially sourced from discarded fishing nets.

These measures contribute to Apple’s overarching 2030 goal of achieving carbon neutrality for all its products, including supply chains and the entire lifespan of each device.

Apple is committed to offsetting residual emissions from its products by purchasing high-quality carbon credits, primarily from nature-based projects. These projects focus on removing carbon from the atmosphere by restoring grasslands, wetlands, and forests, aligning with global climate goals. Apple selects projects that adhere to international standards, such as Verra, the Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standards, and the Forest Stewardship Council.

Apple extends its commitment to its supplier network, with over 50 suppliers across the US, Europe, and Asia making new commitments in its Supplier Clean Energy Program. This program now represents over 90% of Apple’s direct manufacturing spend. The company aims to reduce emissions in manufacturing, identified as the largest source of emissions in its carbon footprint, by 75% by the end of the decade.

Sarah Chandler, Apple’s VP of Environment and Supply Chain Innovation, underscores the urgency of reducing emissions and addressing climate change’s impacts, stating that “we all have an urgent responsibility to reduce emissions and protect against the worst impacts of climate change.” Apple and its suppliers are actively working towards a carbon-neutral future.

Apple’s multifaceted approach, ranging from sustainable packaging to supplier engagement and carbon offsetting, reflects its dedication to environmental sustainability and carbon reduction.

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