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Apple accelerates environmental goals and announces first carbon neutral products

Apple unveiled its first-ever carbon neutral products during its Wonderlust iPhone 15 launch event. The new Apple Watch (Series 9 and Ultra 2) lineup feature innovations in design and clean energy that have driven reductions in product emissions. The company has also ended the use of leather across all of its product lines, introduced its first entirely fibre-based packaging for the new Apple Watch lineup, and expanded the use of recycled materials in iPhone. Additionally, Apple has launched a new tool called Grid Forecast, which helps users in the USA choose when to use electricity based on the cleanliness of their power grid.
Apple accelerates environmental goals and announces first carbon neutral products

Carbon neutral Apple Watch models are part of Apple’s 2030 goal to make every product carbon neutral by the end of the decade, including the entire global supply chain and the lifetime use of every device. The company has adopted a rigorous approach to product decarbonisation that prioritises reducing emissions from electricity, materials, and transportation. Only after achieving steep reductions in product emissions, will the company apply high-quality carbon credits from nature-based projects for emissions that cannot yet be avoided or reduced.

“At Apple, we have a longstanding and proven commitment to leading the fight against climate change. Our focus on renewable energy and low-carbon design has already driven industry-leading emissions reductions, and we’re not slowing down,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy, and social Initiatives.

“We’ve achieved an important milestone in making the world’s most popular watch carbon neutral — and we will keep innovating to meet the urgency of the moment.”

The US tech company made bold claims about its sustainability gains and underscored some of the points in a video skit featuring Octavia Spencer as Mother Nature.

Apple shared some unverified numbers to back up its claims. The Apple Watch models meet strict criteria such as 100% clean electricity for manufacturing and product use, 30% recycled or renewable material by weight, and 50% of shipping without the use of air transportation. These combined efforts result in at least a 75% reduction in product emissions for each model.

Apple accelerates environmental goals and announces first carbon neutral products

These emissions reductions and recycling trends also extend to the company's other products. iPhone 15 uses 100% recycled rare earth magnets in the MagSafe array, and also gets the company’s first use of 100% recycled cobalt in the battery alongside Apple Watch Series 9, and Apple Watch Ultra 2.

The company has also replaced leather with a new textile called FineWoven, a twill made from 68% post-consumer recycled content. The packaging for the new Apple Watch and band lineup is 100% fibre-based, a first for Apple.

Apple’s 2030 goal builds on its achievement of carbon neutrality for its global corporate operations in 2020. The company’s plan centres on an aggressive 75% reduction in overall carbon emissions from 2015.

Apple accelerates environmental goals and announces first carbon neutral products

By avoiding activities that generate carbon, significantly expanding renewable energy across the company’s corporate operations and supply chain, and designing with recycled and renewable materials, Apple has so far reduced total emissions by over 45% since 2015.

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