Apple has announced a commitment to be 100 per cent carbon neutral across its entire business, including its supply chain, by 2030.
The technology giant said the new pledge would mean that by the end of the decade, every Apple device sold will have net zero climate impact.
The iPhone maker said it was already carbon neutral across its corporate operations globally, but would in the course of its 10-year plan reduce emissions by 75 per cent and develop carbon removal solutions for the remaining quarter of its footprint.
As part of its plans to mitigate climate change, Apple said it would continue to increase its use of low carbon and recycled materials in its products. The company revealed it had also received commitments from over 70 suppliers to use 100 per cent renewable energy for Apple production as part of efforts to move its entire supply chain to clean power.
Chief executive Tim Cook said: “Businesses have a profound opportunity to help build a more sustainable future, one born of our common concern for the planet we share.
He added: “The innovations powering our environmental journey are not only good for the planet, they’ve helped us make our products more energy efficient and bring new sources of clean energy online around the world.
“Climate action can be the foundation for a new era of innovative potential, job creation, and durable economic growth. With our commitment to carbon neutrality, we hope to be a ripple in the pond that creates a much larger change.”
Sam Kimmins from international non-profit the Climate Group, said it was a “major announcement” from a company that “shapes tech and business trends around the world.
“By driving this scale of climate ambition through its supply chain, Apple is making a big, global contribution to the move to clean energy, transport and manufacturing. It will have a particularly big impact in some of the most critical markets for tackling greenhouse gases,” he said.
“The 2030 timing is as important as the scale of this move. By then, the whole world needs to halve carbon emissions. Apple is proving that the biggest business in the world have the power to make that happen.
“It’s certainly a challenge. But given the speed we have seen Apple move to renewable electricity through our RE100 programme, and then influence others to do the same, we think they can do it.”
Reader Q&A: What effect does carbon capture have on atmospheric oxygen?
Asked by: Alan Thomas, Shepperton
The capture and storage of carbon dioxide directly from factory chimneys and other polluting sources has been suggested by some scientists as a solution to the problem of global warming, and much research is now being concentrated in this area. If this carbon dioxide entered the atmosphere, the oxygen would eventually be released as a part of the global carbon cycle, involving the weathering of rocks, dissolution in the oceans, and absorption by plants, which then release oxygen in the process of photosynthesis.
The amount of oxygen that would be lost in the process of carbon dioxide capture would be around four billion tonnes per annum, according to figures published by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Luckily, this is only 0.0005 per cent of the quadrillion (that’s 1 followed by 15 zeros) tonnes of oxygen found in the Earth’s atmosphere.