Apple unveiled a series of environmental initiatives, including expanding the use of recycled materials in its products.
In addition to starting to use recycled gold for the first time, Apple has more than doubled the use of recycled tungsten, rare earth elements and cobalt, the company said. In 2021, recycled materials accounted for nearly 20% of materials in Apple products, which is the highest ever. Last year, 59% of the aluminum in Apple products shipped came from recycled sources, with some products containing 100% recycled materials in the enclosure.
The company aims to end the use of plastics in packaging by 2025. It has reduced the amount of plastics in packaging by 75% since 2015, so that by 2021 the amount of plastics in packaging fell to 4%.
In 2017, the company announced its goal of using only renewable or recyclable materials for its products. Last year, Apple products included 45% recycled rare earth elements and 30% recycled tin. Apple has used 100% recycled tin to solder the main motherboard of all new iPhone, iPad, AirPods and Mac products. iPhone batteries also use 13% recycled cobalt. Apple now uses Certified Recycled Gold in the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro, for plating the main logic board and front and rear camera wires.
The advantage of reusing all this material is that it reduces the extraction of new materials. Apple says it was able to recover enough gold and copper from one metric ton of iPhone parts, as is usually the case from 2,000 metric tons of rock. In addition to reusing materials, Apple shipped 12.2 million refurbished devices last year.
To help with these recycling efforts, Apple uses a team of robots. including the all-new Taz, a machine that uses grinder-like technology to separate magnets from audio modules to harvest more rare-earth elements. The Daisy iPhone disassembly robot, which can disassemble phone batteries and prepare them for resale, is now capable of disassembling 23 different types of iPhone models. It is also proposed to license Daisy-related patents free of charge to other companies and researchers.
Apple noted that it has another robot, Dave, who disassembles Taptic motors to help recover rare-earth magnets, tungsten and steel.
The company also released its 2022 Environmental Progress Report, which details its progress towards becoming completely carbon neutral by 2030 and reducing waste. Apple’s operations have been carbon neutral since 2020. As of 2018, its offices, stores and data centers run on 100% renewable energy.
“As people around the world join in celebrating Earth Day, we are making real progress in our work to address the climate crisis and one day make our products without taking anything from the earth,” said Lisa Jackson, vice president of environment and policy at Apple. , and Social Initiatives said in a statement on Tuesday. “Our rapid pace of innovation is already helping our teams use the products of today to build those of tomorrow, and as our global supply chain transitions to clean energy, we are charting a path forward to other companies.”
Apple also announced various Earth Day initiatives. From now until Earth Day on April 22, Apple plans to donate $1 for every purchase made on apple.com, at an Apple Store, or in the Apple Store app via Apple Pay to World Wildlife Fund, with a maximum donation of $1 million. . This initiative only applies to certain countries, including the United States, United Kingdom and Canada.
In the United States and Canada, users can access nature and green space guides from Lonely Planet, AllTrails and The Nature Conservancy via Apple Maps. Nature-themed cycling, rowing, meditation, yoga and treadmill workouts are now available on Apple Fitness+.
Apple also released a Yosemite National Park episode of its Time to Run lineup, as well as an episode of Time to Walk narrated by environmentalist Jane Goodall.
On April 22, Apple will unveil its augmented reality experience on Snapchat, which lets customers learn about the environmental efforts involved in the iPhone 13, like the robot Daisy.
Curated collections of environment-related content will be available on Apple News, Apple Podcasts, Apple Books and the Apple TV app. Documentary maker Jennifer Baichwal has curated a selection of films and children’s author and visual artist Oliver Jeffers has assembled a collection of books.