Apple has one of the most aggressive sustainability and recycling programs in tech, but it still pulls plenty of metals and toxic rare-earth materials out of the ground to make iPhones, iPads, Macbooks, and other products.
Now, according to a new report from The Verge, Apple has said it aims to make all of its iPhones, iPads and other products entirely from renewable or recycled materials and stop mining the earth for anything.
In its annual environmental report the California tech firm said work is well underway towards its pledge for a so-called “closed-loop supply chain”, meaning, in theory, it can make its products with zero environmental impact.
The iPhone giant has faced criticism in the past for using resources that are often associated with mines that use children as young as seven, in war-torn regions, and in places where environmental protections aren’t well-regulated.
“We’re actually doing something we rarely do, which is announce a goal before we’ve completely figured out how to do it,” Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives and a former head of the EPA, Lisa Jackson, said during an interview. “So we’re a little nervous, but we also think it’s really important, because as a sector we believe it’s where technology should be going.”
“We are committing as a company to not necessarily having to source from the earth for everything that we need,” Jackson noted.
All the electricity that Apple uses to power its data centres and 96 percent used by its facilities worldwide comes from renewable energy sources like solar, hydro and wind power, the company said.