Apple has promised to make all of its products, including its entire manufacturing and supply chain, ‘carbon neutral’ within 10 years.
Fresh from its huge Irish tax case win last week in the European courts, the tech giant has promised that it is to have a carbon footprint of “net zero” by 2030.
“We hope to be a ripple in the pond that creates a much larger change,” said chief executive Tim Cook. “Businesses have a profound opportunity to help build a more sustainable future.”
Specifically, Apple says that it will reduce emissions by 75pc by 2030 while “developing innovative carbon removal solutions for the remaining 25 percent” of its overall carbon footprint.
Apple claims that all iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch devices released in the past year are made with recycled content, including 100pc recycled rare earth elements in the iPhone Taptic Engine. This, the company says, is a first for Apple or for any smartphone.
It also has a robot called “Dave” that disassembles the Taptic Engine from iPhone to better recover key materials such as rare earth magnets and tungsten while also enabling recovery of steel.
Apple is also setting up an ‘Impact Accelerator’ that will invest in minority-owned businesses “that drive positive outcomes in its supply chain and in communities that are disproportionately affected by environmental hazards”.
This accelerator is to be part of Apple’s recently announced $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, focused on efforts that address education, economic equality, and criminal justice reform.
“We’re proud of our environmental journey and the ambitious roadmap we have set for the future,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives.
“Systemic racism and climate change are not separate issues and they will not abide separate solutions. We have a generational opportunity to help build a greener and more just economy, one where we develop whole new industries in the pursuit of giving the next generation a planet worth calling home.”
Just for once the timing favoured Micheál Martin's ill-starred three-legged Coalition. There was intense relief in news at breakfast time on Wednesday that the lower EU court overturned a 2016 Commission ruling that the giant tech firm Apple owed €13bn in back taxes due to favourable Irish tax treatment.