Is your old iPhone your future Apple product ?!
This article will fill you with optimism. The steps taken by Apple give us hope for our environment.
The Apple we all know and love is popular in the tech domain. However, today we explore a new, less known side of the company. Apple has been taking sustainable development very seriously, especially since past few years. Literally, the first line of the page read:
Making without taking sounds impossible. But it’s our goal.
Last year, I came across a job vacancy in hardware technology with expertise in recycling. “Huh. Nice initiative”, that was all I thought. However, in recent developments Apple has been committed to make its products with completely recycled materials! Not only that, the new MacBook Air and Mac Mini have been created with complete recycled materials of old Apple products. The commercial made me curious and I researched how did they do this. Apple has been working on a complete plan to execute this strategy. Not just these two products, but 75% of the new Apple products are now manufactured with completely recycled materials.
For making new gadgets, they have been researching on the minerals and chemicals they can use. In order to tackle them, Apple has made a “Material Impact Profile” which enlists environmental, social and global availability impacts so that the company can check and replace them. This has helped them to prioritize materials and this will prevent Apple from mining more than 9,00,000 metric tons of aluminium-bearing bauxite.
However, recovering metal and other materials from older gadgets is not an easy task. They have made a special robot for this task and named it Daisy. Daisy helps them to efficiently recover and recycle materials that would otherwise be next to impossible. Even when they recover metal so efficiently, not all the scrap is good to make beautiful new products. They claim to have made a special alloy which makes almost all the recycled materials suitable enough to build the amazing MacBook Air 100% from reused and recycled material. The company has predicted that tin from older phones will be used for soldering logic boards which will prevent Apple from mining almost 29,000 metric tons of tin ore in 2019!
Since, they are dealing with waste at such a high level, the project also took into account all the harmful substances these might carry. For this reason Environmental Testing Lab was created which exposed these devices to artificial sweat to check if there is any harmful reaction. The new materials are also being tested if they create any carbon pollution for Earth. They already removed PVC and phthalates from all their power cords, headphones and cables.
That is not all! Apple claims that all their offices and retail stores in 43 countries use 100% renewable energy! With this they have emissions equal to electricity required for powering up 600,000 homes! Their carbon footprint has shrunken by 35% since 2015. All their renewable energy is developed from their projects, and if they fall short of it, they purchase more renewable energy from other suppliers. All their third party suppliers claim to have completely switched to clean energy as well. This again brings up an important question in my mind. How will sustainable technologies flourish as a business, because knowing about all this information gives so much potential to a business in this area? On top of this, their research team has made new gadgets consume 70% less energy than before.
Phew, well that was overwhelming! These are huge steps taken by the company. These will set as an example to all the other corporate companies for shifting their focus and research towards sustainable development more. The future looks much more hopeful when these developments happen. Check out Apple’s goals for sustainability.
What other possibilities these ventures have opened up? Let us know!