Environmental Responsibility


'Environmental Responsibility' Articles

Apple Pledges to End Mining and Use 100% Recycled Materials for Products

Just ahead of Earth Day, Apple has released its 2017 Environmental Responsibility Report [PDF] with a lofty new goal: ending mining. Apple says the company is working on a "closed-loop supply chain" that would allow it to stop mining the earth for rare minerals and metals. "One day, we'd like to be able to build new products with just recycled materials, including your old products," Apple says on its updated Environment site. In an interview with VICE, Apple vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives Lisa Jackson commented on the mining plan, saying "it's where technology should be going." "We're actually doing something we rarely do, which is announce a goal before we've completely figured out how to do it," Apple's Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives and a former head of the EPA, Lisa Jackson, told VICE News during an exclusive visit to Apple's environmental testing lab on Monday. "So we're a little nervous, but we also think it's really important, because as a sector we believe it's where technology should be going.Much of what goes into an iPhone isn't recycled, but Apple wants to change that by more aggressively using components taken from old iPhones and combining that with "high quality recycled metals" purchased from suppliers. Apple will double down on investments like Liam, the robot that breaks iPhones down into component parts, and it plans to continue to encourage customers to return products through the Apple Renew recycling program. While Apple plans to source more of its materials from recycled goods,

Apple Sees Success With Efforts to Protect Working Forests in North Carolina

Apple's partnership with The Conservation Fund to protect working forests has begun to show returns for both Apple and the state of North Carolina, according to information the organization shared with the Triangle Business Journal. Apple vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives Lisa Jackson shared the article covering Apple's conservation efforts on Twitter this afternoon. Environmental protection = good for the planet & economy. Yet another example through our work with @ConservationFnd https://t.co/XUMRMybdfy— Lisa P. Jackson (@lisapjackson) March 15, 2017 Jena Thompson Meredith, vice president of business partnerships at The Conservation Fund, says Apple's purchase of forest land in North Carolina and Maine has protected 36,000 acres of sustainable forest. In 2016, the group harvested more than 13,000 metric tons of wood between the two forests, she says, though she did not break that number down by state. She says the collective annual production from the forests in North Carolina and Maine was equivalent to about 30 percent of the virgin fiber used in Apple's product packaging for 2015.With survey work, site prep, and harvesting and planting, the Brunswick Forest portion of the project has employed more than 30 people in logging operations in North Carolina, resulting in more than 10 jobs per 1,000 acres. The effort has also protected North Carolina's Green Swamp Preserve, which is home to six rare species, including the Venus flytrap. Across 300 of the the 3,600 acres Apple purchased in North Carolina, The Conservation Fund has

Greenpeace Declares Apple 'Greenest Tech Company' For Third Year Running

Greenpeace has declared Apple to be the most environmentally friendly technology company in the world for the third year in a row. The conclusion was reached in the environmental organization's latest report, entitled Clicking Clean: Who is Winning the Race to Build a Green Internet, which awarded Apple a final 'A' grade and a clean energy index score of 83 percent. Facebook and Google also scored 'A' grades, with clean energy index scores of 67 and 56 percent respectively. "Thanks to the leadership and advocacy of companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Switch, we are seeing the tech industry make major strides toward powering the internet with clean energy," Gary Cook, Greenpeace's senior IT analyst, said in a statement.The report ranked companies on a range of green credentials, from energy transparency and renewable procurement to energy efficiency and mitigation. Nevada-based telecoms company Switch, which develops data centers, was the only company in its sector to be awarded grade A's across the board, with a 100 percent clean energy index. According to the report, Apple "played a catalytic role within its IT supply chain, pushing other IT data center and cloud operators who help deliver pieces of Apple's corner of the internet to follow their lead in powering their operations with renewable energy". Apple, Google, and Facebook pledged in 2012 to commit to 100 percent renewable energy sources. Apple's new Cupertino campus, which is currently under construction, will run entirely on renewable energy, thanks to an estimated 700,000 square feet of

Apple's Recycling Initiatives Recover $40 Million in Gold

Apple released its latest annual environmental report yesterday, and some of the numbers included reveal just how much the company is able to recover from old devices. Business Insider notes that Apple was able to recover over 61 million pounds of steel, aluminum, glass, and other materials from its computers and iPhones. Included in that total is 2,204 pounds of gold, which is well over a ton. The gold haul alone is worth $40 million at current prices ($1,229.80 per troy ounce of gold), while the total amount of material recovered is reportedly worth well over $50 million. Cult of Mac ran the figures quoted by Apple through today's metal prices, and came up with individual figures for copper ($6.4 million), aluminum ($3.2 million), silver ($1.6 million), nickel ($160,426), zinc ($109,503), and lead ($33,999). Apple says in total it collected almost 90 million pounds of ewaste through its recycling programs, which works out as 71 percent of the total weight of the products the company sold seven years earlier. Apple made much of its efforts to reduce waste at its media event last month. The company also unveiled a robotic system it has developed called 'Liam' that can disassemble old iPhones and recover recyclable materials. The company said that Liam will initially focus on recycling junked iPhone 6 handsets, but Apple plans to modify and expand the system to deconstruct different models and recover more resources.

Apple Tackles E-Waste With iPhone Recycling Robot 'Liam'

At its media event on Monday, Apple kicked off by discussing its efforts to reduce waste and improve its renewable energy infrastructure, marking a heightened focus on the company's environmental responsibilities. As part of the presentation, the company also unveiled a robotic system it has developed that can disassemble old iPhones and recover recyclable materials. The robot, called 'Liam', was introduced in a video showing how it deftly deconstructs an iPhone in order to repurpose a range of materials. Liam is seen in the video rescuing cobalt and lithium from the battery, separating gold and copper from the camera, and extracting silver and platinum from the main logic board. Apple revealed that the Liam system went into full-capacity service last month after nearly three years in development. It consists of 29 robotic modules on a single site near Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California, and is capable of taking apart an iPhone every 11 seconds. A second robot is being installed in Europe. The company said that Liam will initially focus on recycling junked iPhone 6 handsets, but Apple plans to modify and expand the system to deconstruct different models and recover more resources. The robot appears to be a response to criticisms that components used in Apple's devices can be difficult to disassemble, refurbish and reuse. However, according to Reuters, Liam can likely handle no more than a few million phones per year, which is a small fraction of the more than 231 million phones Apple sold in 2015. Greenpeace welcomed Apple's initiative

Apple Tops Greenpeace Clean Energy Index Based on Renewable Energy Initiatives

Apple continues to set the bar among technology companies for its commitment to running its worldwide operations on renewable energy, topping Amazon, Facebook, Google, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Yahoo and other large corporations in Greenpeace's Clean Energy Index included as part of its 2015 Click Clean Report [PDF]."The report found that Apple continues to be the most aggressive in powering its data center operations with renewable energy. Despite continued rapid growth, Apple appears to have kept pace with its supply of renewable energy, maintaining its claim of a 100% renewably powered cloud for another year, followed by Yahoo, Facebook and Google with 73%, 49% and 46% clean energy respectively. Greenpeace found that Amazon’s current investments would deliver an energy mix of 23% renewable energy for its operations."The annual report is based on energy transparency, renewable energy commitment and policy, energy efficiency and mitigation, and renewable energy deployment and advocacy, all categories in which Apple received an A, the highest score awarded. Apple was the only technology company with a perfect scorecard in the report. Greenpeace has been evaluating the energy demand of the internet and internet-related companies since 2010. The non-governmental environmental activist group was critical of Apple's environmental record for several years, and remained skeptical about the company's early push into renewable energy sources, but started recognizing and commending the iPhone maker for its efforts beginning last year. Apple shared its 2015 Environmental

Apple Announces Renewable Energy and Forestland Initiatives in China

Apple today announced a new multi-year project with World Wildlife Fund to protect up to 1 million acres of responsibly managed working forests in China, which the company says provide fiber for pulp, paper and wood products. The new forestland program is part of Apple's goal to run its worldwide operations on 100% renewable energy. Apple also confirmed plans to expand its industry-leading renewable energy projects to manufacturing facilities in China, three weeks after the company announced a partnership with SunPower Corporation to build two 20-megawatt solar power plants that will provide more than enough energy to power all of Apple's corporate offices and retail stores in the world's most populous country.“We’ve set an example by greening our data centers, retail stores and corporate offices, and we’re ready to start leading the way toward reducing carbon emissions from manufacturing,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “This won’t happen overnight—in fact it will take years—but it’s important work that has to happen, and Apple is in a unique position to take the initiative toward this ambitious goal. It is a responsibility we accept. We are excited to work with leaders in our supply chain who want to be on the cutting edge of China’s green transformation.”Apple shared its 2015 Environmental Responsibility Report in April, reflecting on the company's environmental progress during the 2014 fiscal year. The report highlights that 100% of the company's U.S. operations and 87% of its global operations are run on renewable energy. The report also reveals that Apple emitted

Apple Highlights Environmental Responsibility in 2015 Progress Report

Apple on Monday shared its 2015 Environmental Responsibility Report that reflects on the company's environmental progress during the 2014 fiscal year. The report focuses on Apple's commitment to climate change, renewable resources, finite resources, and toxins, and outlines the company's 2014 carbon footprint and other usage information. Apple's latest environmental progress report highlights that 100% of its U.S. operations and 87% of its global operations are run on renewable energy. Apple emitted 34.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions during the 2014 fiscal year, with 24.8 million metric tons resulting from manufacturing, 7 million metric tons coming from product usage, and the rest divided between facilities, transportation, and recycling. Apple has recycling programs in 99% of the countries it operates, recovering 40,396 metric tons of steel and other metals, glass, aluminum, plastics and other materials for reuse in 2014. Apple will also be recycling over 95% of materials from existing buildings for use in Apple Campus 2, and the new headquarters will use 30% less energy than a traditional R&D office building. Apple's 40-megawatt solar farm in Hongyuan, China Apple has also uploaded a new video to its YouTube channel called "Better Starts Here" that promotes the company's environmental responsibility throughout its supply chain, data centers and other worldwide operations. Apple emphasizes how it plans to leave the world better than it found it by using renewable energy sources such as hydro power, solar farms and wind turbines, committing