Apple aims to start using 100% recycled materials to manufacture its electronic products in the near future and reduce its reliance on raw materials.
The IT and electronics giant declared that its goal was to operate a closed-loop supply chain whereby they would only make products from renewable or recycled resources. Apple plans to end its dependence on mining altogether and employ a more responsible and eco-friendly method of sourcing of minerals and metals.
This ambitious project requires quite a few years of collaboration across many Apple teams, suppliers and specialty recyclers.
Closing the Loop in the Supply Chain
Apple has decided to set up a “closed-loop supply chain” that will allow it to give up mining for scarce minerals and metals. They plan to build new products with recycled materials from your old products.
The decision to announce the setting up of a ‘closed-loop supply chain” is rare as Apple has rarely ever announced a goal before they can figure out how to accomplish it themselves.
Apple has committed to making sure all the waste created by its supply chain is re-used, recycled, composted or converted into energy. 17 of the company’s 18 final assembly line companies and 25 of Apple suppliers having achieved a zero waste to landfill status since January 2015.
Recycling Reduces the Carbon Footprint
Apple released 29,500,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions which was their 2016 comprehensive carbon footprint which is made up of 77% manufacturing, 17% product usage, 4% product transportation, 1% corporate facilities and 1% recycling.
96% of the power used by Apple facilities all over the world comes from clean energy sources and a 100% of the electricity that powers Apple data comes from wind, solar and hydro energy sources.
As much as 99% of the paper in Apple’s product packaging already comes from recycled sources.
Apple’s Renewable Energy Use
Apple has a robot which is designed to disassemble products and recover any parts that can be recycled. It is focused on a different way of producing aluminium which has led to the iPhone 7 enclosure using 27% less material than the iPhone 6, as well as releasing 60% less harmful gases.
Apple sourced 96% its energy from renewable energy sources, reducing their company’s carbon emissions by 585,000 metric tons. Apple is now using 100% renewable energy across 24 countries in all of its data centres.
Tech Companies Making Businesses Greener and Sustainable
Apple is a technology company which requires a lot of paper to package its products.
Apple’s goal is to achieve a net-zero impact on the world’s supply of sustainable virgin fiber as it wants 100% of its paper packaging from renewable resources.
Apple also plans to make its supply chain completely powered by renewable energy. Apple currently generates enough power to support around 87% of its global facilities. The supply chain is planned to include 60 times more power which are expected to come from renewable sources such as wind, solar, biogas, geothermal and hydropower.
Renewable forest harvesting is aimed at China where Apple’s manufacturing takes place and a long track record environmental degradation associated with unsustainable practices, such as pollution and deforestation.
Apple’s ambitious multi-year project aims to conserve 1 million acres of “working forests” in China which will provide Apple with pulp, paper and wood products.
China’s large market for wood contributes to large scale deforestation in nearby forests located in places like Borneo and Sumatra which has become an important environmental concern.
Environmental Responsibility and Green Solutions
In their quest to build the greenest corporate headquarters on the globe, Apple has decide to take environmental responsibility to a whole new level and have pledged that they will continue to protect and sustainably manage forest land as both their product and paper demands grow.
All other major IT brands such as Microsoft, Samsung and Huawei should quickly try and match Apple’s leadership if they don’t want to risk falling even further behind. Try opting for recycling rather than sourcing raw materials and take some environmental responsibility and become part of the solution instead of the problem.