Apple unveils carbon-neutral smartwatches as company-wide 2030 carbon-neutrality goal approaches
Take a look at the numbers and stats behind Apple’s latest smartwatch collection, which sets the tone for the tech giant’s ambitious climate goal of being carbon-neutral by 2030.
By ERIK SEDIN
September 21, 2023
In a notable stride toward environmental sustainability, Apple announced its first-ever carbon-neutral products as part of the new Apple Watch lineup. This achievement signals a 75% reduction in product emissions for each carbon-neutral Apple Watch and reflects Apple’s broader objective to make every product carbon-neutral by 2030, which we’ve covered before.
Apple’s 2030 commitment also encompasses the entirety of its global supply chain and the complete lifespan of every device it produces. As a part of this effort, the tech giant has ceased using leather in all its product lines and introduced entirely fibre-based packaging for its new Apple Watch series. Additionally, in a bid to make energy consumption more sustainable, Apple has introduced a tool in the Home app called Grid Forecast, which assists users in identifying when cleaner energy is available in their power grid.
Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives, affirms the company’s dedication to combating climate change.
— At Apple, our resolve to lead against climate change is unwavering. We’ve reached a significant milestone with the world’s most popular watch now being carbon neutral. Our endeavours won’t stop here, she says.
The company’s strategy for product decarbonisation includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions from three primary sources: electricity, materials, and transportation. Only once significant emissions cuts are achieved will Apple utilize high-quality carbon credits for the remaining emissions. Each carbon-neutral Apple Watch adheres to strict environmental criteria which include the utilization of 100% clean electricity for both manufacturing and product use, and a minimum of 30% recycled or renewable material by weight.
Apple’s push for carbon neutrality started over a decade ago. In 2020, the company achieved carbon neutrality for its global corporate operations. Their plan revolves around a bold 75% reduction in total carbon emissions from 2015 levels. Impressively, while focusing on reducing its carbon footprint, Apple has managed to reduce its overall emissions by over 45% since 2015 and simultaneously grow its revenue by over 65%.
Manufacturing of the carbon-neutral Apple Watch models is powered entirely by clean electricity. Apple’s dedication to promoting renewable energy is evident from its early investments in large-scale solar and wind farms. Currently, the company and its global suppliers back over 15 gigawatts of clean energy worldwide.
On the design front, Apple has consistently innovated by introducing recycled materials in its products. A notable change includes replacing leather with ”FineWoven”, a textile made from 68% post-consumer recycled content. This material will now feature iPhone accessories and Apple Watch bands.
Transportation constitutes about 9% of Apple’s total carbon footprint. In an effort to address this, Apple is transitioning more of its shipping to methods less reliant on air transport. The new carbon-neutral Apple Watch models will see at least 50% of their combined weight transported using non-air modes, thus reducing transportation emissions considerably.
To manage the residual emissions after significant reductions, Apple intends to invest in nature-based projects like restoring grasslands and wetlands. The company emphasizes the importance of carbon removal, echoing sentiments shared by leading organizations like the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Header image: Appolinary Kalashnikova. This article was crafted with the assistance of the AI writing tool, ChatGPT.