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Apple Sustainability News, Milestones, Partnerships and Net Zero Timeline

July 9, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

Here are more updates...

December 2024: Apple Sustainability Strategy and Timeline

Multiple updates...

Tang Tan
Tang Tan: Exiting Apple in February 2024?
  • Executive Departs: iPhone and Apple Watch design chief Tang Tan will leave the company in February 2024 to work on an AI hardware project with Jony Ive and Sam Altman, Bloomberg reported.
  • Right to Repair: Apple has extended Self Service Repair to the iPhone 15 lineup and Mac models powered by the M2 lineup. Moreover, Self Service Repair is now available in 24 additional European countries, including Croatia, Denmark, Greece, Netherlands, Portugal, and Switzerland. With this latest expansion, Self Service Repair now supports 35 company products in 33 countries and 24 languages.
  • Diagnostics Tool: Apple Diagnostics for Self Service Repair is now available in the U.S., with European support planned for 2024. Intended for users with the knowledge and expertise to repair Apple devices, Apple Diagnostics troubleshooting sessions "will give customers the same ability as Apple Authorized Service Providers and Independent Repair Providers to test devices for optimal part functionality and performance, as well as identify which parts may need repair," the company said.

November 2023: Sustainability Strategy and Timeline

  • Apple does not charge more to account for its carbon reduction efforts on its widely-used consumer technology products, Lisa Jackson said at the Reuters NEXT conference in New York, Reuters reported.

October 2023: Apple Sustainability Strategy and Timeline

Podcast: Professor Ayman Omar, a supply chain expert from the Kogod School of Business, offers perspectives on Carbon Neutral Apple Watch and technology supply chains.

September 2023: Apple Sustainability Strategy and Timeline

  • Accelerator: Acumen, with support from Apple, has selected 15 startups to join the Energy for Livelihoods Accelerator, India Today reported. The 12-week program, hosted in India, is designed to help social entrepreneurs scale and refine their businesses to "transform the lives of people living in poverty, while also protecting the environment."
  • Right to Repair - Airpod Challenges: Although Apple promotes carbon-neutral products and the company is warming up to California's Right to Repair Act, AirPod products will need a redesign in order to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly, Vox reports.

September 12, 2023: Carbon Neutral Apple Watch and More

During a full-day of product launches on September 12, 2023, the company unveiled new applications, products and services to help customers and partners with their sustainability efforts.

Among the key September 2023 news developments to note: The company has...

  • introduced carbon neutral Apple Watch models;
  • ended the use of leather across all of its product lines;
  • announced its first entirely fiber-based packaging for the new Apple Watch lineup;
  • continued to expand the use of recycled materials in iPhone; and
  • introduced Grid Forecast, a Home app that lets users know when their grid has cleaner energy available.

Each carbon neutral watch model, the company said has:

  • 100% clean electricity for manufacturing and product use;
  • 30% recycled or renewable material by weight;
  • 50% of shipping without the use of air transportation; 

To offset the remaining carbon footprint, the company plans to use "high-quality carbon credits" from such organizations as Restore Fund, Arbaro Advisors and BTG Pactual Timberland Investment Group. Every carbon neutral Apple Watch is certified by SCS Global Services, a provider of environmental standards and certification.

In a prepared statement about the efforts, Lisa Jackson, Apple's VP of environment, policy and social initiatives, said: “At Apple, we have a longstanding and proven commitment to leading the fight against climate change. Our focus on renewable energy and low-carbon design has already driven industry-leading emissions reductions, and we’re not slowing down. We’ve achieved an important milestone in making the world’s most popular watch carbon neutral — and we will keep innovating to meet the urgency of the moment.”

Jackson is well-known worldwide for her sustainability acumen. In August 2023, Jackson joined Galvanize Climate Solutions, a climate-focused global investment firm, as strategic advisor.

Despite the efforts above, the company still faces occasional criticism from human rights activists who point to potential labor issues in Asia; e-waste and recycling limitations; and Apple's slow adoption of Right to Repair initiatives. We'll provide more details about those criticisms -- and Apple's responses -- in an article update soon.

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