Daily Insights

Apple’s New Environmental Focus

By: Mackenzie Baker | Jul 31, 2020

Apple released a new environmental action plan with a pledge to be 100% carbon neutral by 2030. The pledge will apply to the tech giant’s manufacturing supply chain and entire product life cycle, and will allow Apple to bring its carbon footprint to net zero. Apple’s global corporate operations are already carbon neutral, but its new sustainability pledge puts the company on the path to having a net zero climate impact across all of its industries. To do so in the next ten years, Apple will lean into renewable energy and use recyclable materials, particularly in its supply chain. 

Manufacturing supply chains are main culprits of carbon emissions, so it makes sense that much of Apple’s new sustainability pledge focuses on altering its supply chain around the world. Apple’s shift to renewable energy could save over 14 million metric tons of carbon emissions each year. While the tech titan is focusing on its own business and eliminating harmful waste, it’s also giving back to organizations working towards the same goal, including The Conservation Fund, Conservation International, and The World Wildlife Fund. Apple published its entire plan on its website, where consumers can read about each initiative in detail. The brand also released a video advertisement on YouTube discussing Apple’s promise, demonstrated by focusing on a sleeping baby as the commercial discusses the brand’s hopes for the next generation.  

In addition to its pledge, Apple created an Impact Accelerator program to invest further in minority-owned businesses that can help Apple’s supply chain become more environmentally friendly. The program follows Apple’s recently created Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, which includes a $100 million investment for criminal justice reform and economic inequality. Both programs were launched in the wake of racial protests in the U.S. this summer and follow the brand’s promise to do more for diversity and inclusion. As an industry leader, many consumers and competitor brands’ expectations are made in consideration to Apple, according to a Gartner report, so the brand’s focus on increasing sustainability practices and diversity throughout the company could lead to others quickly following suit. 

Apple is the latest brand to unveil an ambitious sustainability pledge, following recent public pledges from other large labels including Unilever and Dole. Apple’s climate change plan makes it one of the largest tech companies to pursue carbon neutrality, and by publishing its sustainability roadmap, could inspire other brands to imitate its approach.