Climate change is one of the most overlooked crises. But Apple is set to bring changes to make things better. The company has announced that it would remove carbon emissions from its entire business, including products and its vast supply chain, over the next decade. One might wonder how Apple plans to achieve this?
Apple Removing Carbon Emissions
Apple said that its global corporate operations like offices and data centers are already carbon neutral. The company is now extending its efforts to the hundreds or thousands of suppliers that help build Apple products. Apple announced that it plans to achieve 75 percent of this goal by reducing emissions while the remaining 25 percent coming from carbon removal or offset projects such as planting trees and restoring habitats.
The main factor to be addressed is certainly the supply chain, which falls under the ‘scope three’ emissions that come indirectly from a company’s value chain. For Apple, this means contract manufacturers like Foxconn. Furthermore, nearly 74 percent of its overall carbon emissions are generated by product manufacturing.
To deal with the scope of three emissions from its manufacturing lines, Apple is setting up a $100 million US-China Green Fund as capital investments for suppliers to be utilized for energy efficiency projects.
Particularly for its carbon removal mission, Apple’s offset efforts will come via a fund to help build projects like restoring lost habitats. This includes restoring mangrove ecosystems in Colombia and savannas in Kenya. Apple hasn’t disclosed any amount for this funding.
Can Apple Really Achieve This?
Apple is one of the tech-based companies that invests heavily in such initiatives. Previously, Apple noted that it was working with suppliers to reduce emissions by using recycled materials. The new iPhones now use recycled rare Earth elements in a component called the taptic engine.
It should be noted that these rare Earth elements are a lot of energy to min, but are used in small amounts, which makes recycling impractical and uneconomical. For the same reason, the iPhone maker has created a robot to recover the rare Earth materials from products to recycle.
But the question still remains, can Apple really reduce its carbon emissions? The company’s environmental report of 2018 put its carbon footprint at 25.2 million tons. It’s a good thing that Apple is investing in the new initiatives, but we need to wait and see how it makes an impact.
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