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Carbon Neutral Apple Watch: Milestone for Consumer Sustainability, Education?

September 12, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

By launching carbon neutral Apple Watches, the technology giant may have delivered a Big Bang moment that helps to further explain and promote sustainability to consumers worldwide.

Admittedly and rightfully so: Consumers are often skeptical of corporate sustainability claims, as Heatmap effectively points out. But Apple's lengthy statements and sustainability milestones could win over critics, Sustainable Tech Partner believes.

In Apple's case, any aluminum Apple Watch Series 9 or SE when paired with the new Sport Loop band is carbon neutral. The Series 9 and SE, both available September 22, start at $399 and $249, respectively.

What Qualifies As Carbon Neutral Apple Hardware?

The carbon neutral pitch, in particular, has our attention. To earn the designation, Apple says each watch had to meet the following criteria:

  • 100% clean electricity for manufacturing and product use;
  • 30% recycled or renewable material by weight;
  • 50% of shipping without the use of air transportation.
  • Those combined efforts result in at least a 75% reduction in product emissions for each model.

The big questions:

  1. How will Apple market the carbon-neutral watches?
  2. Will customers pay a premium for a carbon neutral designation?
  3. Will hardware and consumer electronics rivals react to Apple's sustainability messaging and positioning?

Of those three variables, I suspect some hardware companies will be inclined to follow Apple's marketing lead. That could be good news for sustainability education and product adoption worldwide...

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