Steve Jobs and Apple Inc.

Dreamers Change the World

Steve Jobs biography alongside iPhone 11 Pro. Photo by AB on Unsplash.

Steve Jobs, undoubtedly was one of the greatest visionaries mankind has ever witnessed. He had a truly brilliant mind, and thought years ahead of others in the same arena. He was a perfectionist in every aspect, and brought about, evidently, some of the biggest tech revolutions in the world, with iconic products like the Macintosh, iPhone, iPad, iPod, and many more, which led to further innovations in the world of tech by not only Apple, but also fuelled others to innovate.

The wide range of Apple Products

Apple products, are some of the most minimal consumer products that one can find in the market, that too in significant numbers. This minimalism has been indeed inherited by Apple from its co-founder, Steven Paul Jobs. Jobs had led a very charismatic and influential life, ranging from living like monks in India, to adopting a hippie lifestyle and calming down to a minimalist in his later years.

Right from his work to his home, there were evidences of how unconventionally conservative and minimalist he was. There have been multiple instances that almost all of us might have came across over the internet. One of the most popular such instances is when he threw an iPod prototype into an aquarium to show how it can be reduced in size, by the virtue of the air bubbles escaping the product. There were always such examples across his lifetime where he would tell the world how important it is to have only the amount that is actually needed.

One of Steve’s Room. Notice there is no furniture at all. Later he used to have a Mac on the floor for work.

iPhoneOS, iPadOS, macOS are all great examples of how minimalistic approach can be best at times. While unveiling an iPad, Steve had quoted an example of how even the not-so-tech-friendly masses can learn to use it in a matter of minutes. That was, in fact a quality that Apple has inherited from Steve, who believed in minimalism and perfectionism to such an extent that all he had least furniture at home.

Every quality that Steve had imbibed in Apple, is still very much evident even in the present. And Apple is taking his legacy further by the steps they have taken in the recent years and also, in the form of long term goals, to make not only the company but also the products it makes, the most sustainable and environment friendly on the planet.

Since the early 2000s only, Apple has had a no-fuss characteristic in all of their products. All of their products can be used as an example here, given how easy it is to set up and start using an iMac is (plug in the power cord and you’re up and running), how easy it is to use iPods, and basically everything Apple. Plus an Apple product usually has a longer lifespan than most of the competition, annual running cost is also very low and then there is the minimal approach to kind of everything. This minimal approach is omnipresent at Apple, and is not only limited to how an end user uses it, but also even in terms of how the user opens the packaging. Yes, you heard it right, even the unpacking experience is controlled by Apple. And that is good for us, plus the environment.

Wind turbines. Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Good for the environment, but how? Consider buying a traditional PC, and on the other hand consider an iMac in the same budget. You end up buying a whole lot of plastic, both in terms of the packaging and the actual products that you’d have bought with the iMac, that comes in beautiful recycled material boxes and the protective packaging is recyclable as well. Plus, you come down to just one box, compared to at least 2 in case of a PC (Monitor and CPU). Another gain is made in terms of the cables. With the iMac, it is just one power cord that is necessary. But you get 2 power cords and video I/O cable when opting for a PC. In no way I am suggesting that a PC is a bad choice, but I am only trying to state how Apple’s minimalist approach has made its products more environment friendly, right from the packaging to the beautifully milled aluminium casings, which, again are recyclable and made from recycled aluminium now.

Comparing packaging of conventional PC vs iMac. notice at least 2 boxes vs one.

The plastic content, for an example, in an 21.5” iMac is so low, that it accounts for 213g only, out of 5.540 kg per unit, taking into consideration even the packaging.

Pie chart depicting the ratio and total amount of materials used in an iMac, packaging included.

Setting the products aside, we are left with the services offered by Apple and the giant itself (Offices, manufacturing plants, stores etc.,). There are many data centres, stores and offices owned by Apple all across the globe. In 2016, Apple signed up for the global initiative called RE100, and as an achievement, in 2018 announced that all those data centres, offices and shops run on 100% renewable energy.

Apple Environment Page stating the move to total Carbon Neutrality by 2030.

Apart from using 100% renewable energy, there are 2 major goals, long term this time, that Apple wishes to achieve by 2030:

  1. No Apple products end up in a landfill, and
  2. All the products are 100% carbon neutral, thereby making the giant a carbon neutral company. You can read about it in their report here.

Working towards the same goals, Apple had started recycling old iPhones using an automated robot called Liam. In 2017 it was replaced by Daisy, a much more capable robot that disassembles 200 iPhones per hour.

How Apple is going to achieve these goals is on their own shoulders now. After all it is on the list of the most valued companies. Coming to an end, I had a very difficult time putting all my thoughts into this story, hence a video accompanies for an easy understanding of the same. Being an Apple user myself, I find an undefinable minimalism in each Apple product. Not a fanboy in general, but a huge fan of how great things can be so simple. And eco friendly.

A short video accompanying the story is on my drive:

Additional useful videos

Learn more about the visionary
Learn about Apple’s goals and what it has achieved
Learn about Liam and Daisy, and watch Daisy in action
Apple’s Campus powered by 100% renewable energy

Not everything can be put up in a thousand words hence here are some Useful Links that have all the information about Apple’s Plan.

View Apple’s 2020 Environmental Progress Report here.

A whole lot of reports are available to go through on this page. Also, scroll down to take a look at your Apple Product’s Environmental Report Card.