How Apple is Using its Supply Chain to Cut Emissions

How is Apple leveraging its supply chain to help make cuts to its greenhouse gas emissions?

The tech giant is crediting both internal teams and those in its wider supply chain for an overall cut in greenhouse gas emissions by more than 55% since 2015 as reported in its 2024 Environmental Progress Report. 

It is part of its Apple 2030 strategy, the company’s ambitious goal to become carbon neutral across its whole value chain by the end of this decade. To achieve the goal, the company will need to succeed in cutting emissions by 75% from 2015 levels.

Apple’s commitment to supply chain sustainability

As well as teams across Apple, suppliers throughout its global supply chain have contributed to Apple 2030 and the company’s environmental efforts, driving innovations in clean energy and energy efficiency, materials, carbon removal, water stewardship, zero waste and recycling

“The proof of Apple’s commitment to climate action is in our progress: We’ve slashed emissions by more than half, all while serving more users than ever before,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. “More hard work is ahead of us, and we’re focused on harnessing the power of innovation and collaboration to maximise our impact.”

Lisa Jackson Vice President Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives (Credit: Apple)

Working with Apple suppliers to cut emissions

Apple's transition to clean electricity in its supply chain has led to significant emissions reductions, with more than 16.5GW of renewable energy supported globally through its Supplier Clean Energy Program. 

Collaborative efforts with suppliers have resulted in more than two billion kWh of electricity savings and the avoidance of nearly 1.7 million metric tons of carbon emissions, up 25% from 2022. 

Apple is also addressing the direct climate impact of industrial processes, such as the manufacturing of flat-panel displays, by working with suppliers to track emissions and deploy state-of-the-art abatement equipment.

Apple’s work toward making products using only recycled and renewable materials has spurred innovation in sourcing and design, including the use of overhead projector-based augmented reality systems (Credit: Apple)

Removing plastic from the Apple supply chain 

Apple is innovating to eliminate plastic from its packaging, using fibre-based alternatives that maintain a ‘premium unboxing experience’. Only 3% of the packaging across all Apple products shipped last year was made from plastic. 

Apple continues to innovate, recently publishing a white paper with the University of British Columbia’s BioProducts Institute to explore sustainable packaging solutions using advanced fibre-based materials. Additionally, in partnership with RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Apple is developing a fibre-based alternative to widely used protective foams in packaging in its supply chain.

Apple’s work toward making products using only recycled and renewable materials has spurred innovation in sourcing and design (Credit: Apple)

Apple and the future of recycling in its supply chain 

Apple has developed innovative technologies to advance electronics recycling in its supply operation, including the disassembly robot Daisy, capable of dismantling 29 models of iPhones into 15 components. Recycling machines known as Dave and Taz are now operational with a company partner in China. 

Apple has also introduced a new product sorter at its California asset recovery centre to automate and enhance efficiency. The company is committed to sharing this technology globally. 

Autonomous mobile robots are now assisting with product and component transportation at the asset recovery centre and through partnerships with institutions like Carnegie Mellon, Apple is exploring the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, and automation to further improve recycling processes within its supply chain.

Read more about how Apple revolutionised its supply chain. 

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