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iRecycle, iReduce, iRevolutionize: Apple Introduces their First Carbon Neutral Products

Apple Introduces their First Carbon Neutral Products
Published on Sep 15, 2023

In the Apple Event 2023, the brand unveiled the new Apple Watch lineup as well as the major progress they are making toward achieving the ambitious Apple 2030 climate goal. The event witnesses Apple's first-ever carbon-neutral product announcement in the all-new Apple Watch lineup. 

Innovations in design and clean energy will help dramatically reduce product emissions by over 75 percent for each carbon-neutral Apple Watch. This milestone is being deemed as a major step undertaken by the company on its journey toward achieving the ambitious Apple 2030 goal to make every product carbon neutral, along with the entire global supply chain and the lifetime use of every Apple device. 

As part of the company’s broader environmental efforts and Apple 2030, they have ended the use of leather across all of their product lines and announced their first entirely fiber-based packaging for the new Apple Watch lineup. The company has also introduced a new tool called Grid Forecast that will help inform users when their power grid has cleaner energy available. This will assist the user in deciding when to use electricity. 

With a longstanding and proven commitment to lead the fight against climate change, Apple is focusing on renewable energy and low-carbon design that will help drive industry-leading emissions reductions. 

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Designing Carbon Neutral Products by 2030 

Apple voiced its strategy regarding the adoption of a clear and rigorous approach to product decarbonization. This will prioritize reducing greenhouse gas emissions from three major sources across their product life cycle:  

  • electricity 

  • materials 

  • supply chain/transportation 

After steeply cutting down on product emissions, the company will apply high-quality carbon credits from nature-based projects for emissions that cannot yet be avoided or reduced. 


Apple's carbon-neutral Watch model fits the following strict criteria set by the company to achieve the goal:  

  • 100% clean electricity for manufacturing and use 

  • 30% recycled or renewable material by weight 

  • 50% of shipping without the help of air transportation 

These combined efforts will help the company to achieve at least a 75% reduction in product emissions for every model. They will use high-quality carbon credits to manage the small amount of remaining emissions, thus resulting in a carbon-neutral product footprint.  

All manufacturing for the carbon-neutral Apple Watch is powered by 100% clean electricity through investments and sourcing by Apple as well as its suppliers. Additionally, every supplier for these models has also committed to 100% renewable electricity for all of their production by the end of the decade. Apple has pledged to work with manufacturing partners across the globe to advocate for sustainable policies that support the wider deployment of clean energy solutions. 

Read more: Sustainable Finance: How Companies are Going Green by Integrating Sustainability Strategies? 

Innovation and Tech: Investing in Solutions for Carbon Removal 

Carbon removal is crucial for addressing climate change and achieving global climate goals. Apple is defining these high-quality credits as those from real, measurable, and quantified projects. They are also integrating systems in place to avoid double-counting as well as to ensure permanence.  

After executing steep reductions in product emissions, Apple is now planning to cover the residual emissions with the integration of high-quality carbon credits from nature-based projects that will assist in removing carbon from the atmosphere. 

Apple has pioneered the use of key recycled materials in its products with the integration of world-class product engineering, supply chain expertise, and comprehensive design qualifications. The new product range is built on these achievements. 

To further reduce its impact on the planet, the company is also planning to end the use of leather across all its product lines. The leather will be replaced with a new textile named FineWoven - a durable twill made from 68% post-consumer recycled content. FineWoven will help in providing a subtle luster and a soft and suede-like feel. 


They are also working towards designing new AirPods Pro and iPhones with numerous materials and features that will help minimize their impact on the environment, like the use of 100% recycled rare earth elements in all magnets as well as 100% recycled gold to plate multiple printed circuit boards. The brand has also worked on redesigning its packaging to get rid of the outer plastic wrap.  

At the same time, almost 90% of the packaging is manufactured using fiber-based materials, thus bringing them a step closer to their sustainable goal of removing plastic from all packaging entirely by 2025. 

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Reducing Emissions Throughout the Supply Chain 

In the event, the company unveiled its focus on reducing emissions throughout its supply chain. With the measures being undertaken for the manufacturing and shipping of every carbon-neutral Apple Watch, when combined, the company would witness a drastic 75% reduction in their product emissions. 

Transporting the brand's products globally makes up about 9% of Apple’s comprehensive carbon footprint. Across the product lines, more than 90% of suppliers have joined and committed to the use of 100% renewable electricity for all production. 

The company is now planning to shift more product volume to shipping methods that are less carbon-intensive than air transport. For their carbon-neutral watch models, along with watches and bands, Apple will ship at least 50% of the combined weight using non-air modes. This will help in cutting down on their total transportation emissions by nearly half. Further, the packaging of all Series 9 watches and SE models will be redesigned for compactness, offering a smaller shape that will allow for 25% more devices per shipment. 

At the same time, Apple is dedicated to supporting broader efforts by decarbonizing shipping industries. The company has claimed to support analysis to identify pathways for producing sustainable aviation fuels. They are also seeking out technical innovations, along with the usage of alternative fuels and EVs, and are selecting vendors that propose low-carbon options to further drive decarbonization in the industry. 

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Apple Introduces their First Carbon Neutral Products

The Way Forward to 2030 

Apple Event 2023 introduced its first carbon-neutral product range that will follow environmental standards. The results stem from years of significant work and innovation across the enterprise and global supply chain. They also illustrate their latest step on this sustainable journey that began over a decade ago. 

In an event in 2020, Apple showcased its goal to achieve carbon neutrality for global corporate operations. Apple 2030 presents a bold strategy from the organization to be carbon neutral through its entire value chain by 2030. 

Apple is planning to center on an aggressive 75% reduction in overall carbon emissions. By cutting down on activities that lead to carbon generation and significantly increasing the use of renewable energy across the company’s corporate operations and supply chain, the brand plans on designing products with recycled and renewable materials. Since 2015, the company has been able to reduce its total emissions by over 45% while growing its revenue by over 65% in the same period. 

Apple is now determined to accelerate its efforts by decarbonizing the value chain to reduce emissions — from the electricity utilized for manufacturing and charging the devices to materials and transportation. 

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SG Analytics is an industry-leading global insights and analytics firm providing data-centric research and contextual analytics services to its clients, including Fortune 500 companies, across BFSI, Technology, Media & Entertainment, and Healthcare sectors. Established in 2007, SG Analytics is a Great Place to Work® (GPTW) certified company and has a team of over 1100 employees and has presence across the U.S.A, the U.K., Switzerland, Canada, and India.    

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