Inside Logistics

Apple commits to carbon neutral supply chain

By 2030 Apple commits that device sold will have net zero climate impact


July 21, 2020
by

CUPERTINO, Calif. – Apple plans to become carbon neutral across its entire business, manufacturing supply chain, and product life cycle by 2030. The company is carbon neutral now for its global corporate operations, and this new commitment means that by 2030, every Apple device sold will have net zero climate impact.

In its 2020 Environmental Progress Report — released today — Apple details its plans to reduce emissions by 75 percent by 2030 while developing innovative carbon removal solutions for the remaining 25 percent of its comprehensive footprint.

Apple’s 10-year roadmap includes:

Expanding energy efficiency

Apple will identify new ways to lower energy use at its corporate facilities and help its supply chain make the same transition. The number of facilities participating in Apple’s Supplier Energy Efficiency Program grew to 92 in 2019; these facilities avoided over 779,000 annualized metric tons of supply chain carbon emissions. Last year, the company invested in energy efficiency upgrades to over 6.4 million square feet of new and existing buildings, lowering electricity needs by nearly one-fifth and saving the company US$27 million.

Process and material innovations

The company will tackle emissions through technological improvements to processes and materials needed for its products. For example, it is working with suppliers on the development of the first-ever direct carbon-free aluminum smelting process.

It has also reduced emissions from fluorinated gases by more than 242,000 metric tons in 2019. Fluorinated gases are used in the manufacturing of some consumer electronics components and can contribute to global warming.

Renewable energy

Apple will remain at 100 percent renewable energy for its operations — focusing on creating new projects and moving its entire supply chain to clean power. It has commitments from over 70 suppliers to use 100 percent renewable energy for Apple production — equivalent to nearly eight gigawatts in commitments to power the manufacturing of its products. Once completed, these commitments will avoid over 14.3 million metric tons of CO2e annually — the equivalent of taking more than three million cars off the road each year.

New and completed projects in Arizona, Oregon, and Illinois bring the company’s renewable capacity for its corporate operations to over one GW — equivalent to powering over 150,000 homes a year. Over 80 percent of the renewable energy that Apple sources for its facilities are now from Apple-created projects, benefitting communities and other businesses.

Globally, Apple is launching one of the largest new solar arrays in Scandinavia, as well as two new projects providing power to underserved communities in the Philippines and Thailand.

Low carbon product 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.

“Businesses have a profound opportunity to help build a more sustainable future, one born of our common concern for the planet we share,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

“The innovations powering our environmental journey are not only good for the planet — they’ve helped us make our products more energy efficient and bring new sources of clean energy online around the world.”