Apple Recovered 61M Pounds of Materials in 2015, Including $40M in Gold


Apple has released its annual environmental report, emphasizing once again the company’s push toward environmentally friendly initiatives such as recycling and how it helps its suppliers reduce emissions and more.

Apple environmental report

For example, Apple has started assessing its suppliers’ energy use with detailed energy audits and working with them to reduce energy use by replacing outdated or inefficient heating, cooling and lighting systems, and others, and has identified more than $32 million in annual savings opportunities.

The report also includes titbits about how much Apple has been able to recover from its old computers: more than 61 million pounds of steel, aluminum, glass, plastic, copper, cobalt, nickel, and other materials. This happened in 2015 through the company’s take-back initiatives.

An interesting detail spotted by Business Insider is the amount of gold Apple was able to recover: 2,204 pounds, which is nearly a ton of gold. Now, if we multiply this quantity by the current spot price of $1,229.80 per troy ounce of gold, we find that Apple has been able to recover nearly $40 million worth of gold from old iPhones and computers.

The gold apparently comes from circuit boards and other internal components. Fairphone, an activist group monitoring electronics supply chains, says the average smartphone uses 30 mg of gold.

You can read the full Apple Environmental Responsibility Report by hitting this link.


  • DoctorT

    Nice stuff Apple! Most places just trash scrap electronics since recovering them is too hard.

  • KIII

    When the SE launched for sale on the Canadian store they had also launched the actual Apple related recycle program here the is partnered with another company to handle the send ins. That night I did a screenshot of the dollar offer on a iPhone 5s that listed at $200. The exact same 5s now shows a $150 offer.

    Great that Apple managed to recycle that amount of gold but not so much for the scale back on the offer amounts.

  • mackman6151

    Feeling so lucky that the average iPhone has $1.18 worth of gold lol

  • Lol