Apple announced Tuesday that three of its Apple Watch models will be available in what it calls carbon-neutral versions sporting a new green logo on their boxes, and the biggest change is that transportation will be done more by ship rather than by plane.
Apple aims to become carbon neutral by 2030, including its supply chain. One of the biggest challenges to achieving this is reducing emissions from Apple’s rapid transit network, which relies heavily on planes.
Apple has been a pioneer in using planes to transport consumer electronics products from factories in China to destinations around the world, helping to reduce the inventory it needs and boost profits.
For the three new watches, half of the shipments by weight, from the factory to destinations such as regional distribution centers, will be by ship, train or other non-air method that uses less fuel and creates fewer emissions carbon emissions that are warming the planet, Apple executives said. said in an interview at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California.
All three green-labeled versions of Apple Watch Series 9, Apple Watch SE, and Apple Watch Ultra 2 will have lower emissions than Apple’s baseline estimates based on previous products, and Apple will purchase carbon offsets for the remaining emissions, said Lisa Jackson, head of the company’s environmental and governance efforts.
“We could theoretically do it (purchase offsets) tomorrow, and everything would be carbon neutral, but we wanted to be very clear that we are taking action on everything we know we can do to reduce (emissions) with the existing technology,” Jackson says.
The company previously said that a Series 8 watch creates 33kg of carbon emissions, from raw materials to delivery to end customers.
The new, more climate-friendly aluminum Series 9, featuring a sport loop band, will have 8.1kg of emissions remaining after Apple’s changes, and the company will cover that remainder by purchasing carbon credits. This compares to 29kg of emissions for the standard Series 9 stainless steel version with the same band.
Apple has been focused on reducing carbon emissions for some time. All new watches, including standard editions, also use custom aluminum and titanium alloys made from recycled materials and batteries containing only recycled cobalt, a mineral that poses problems for mining both on climate and human rights.
“We absolutely plan to roll this out to more Apple products in the future,” John Ternus, the company’s head of hardware engineering, told Reuters. “As we move forward and engage with suppliers on these recycled material supply chains, we find that we are usually the first to tell them about it.”
Green label watches will cost the same as the standard versions. Executives did not directly say whether they would be less profitable than standard models, but Jackson said Apple was focused on changes it and other companies might make in the future.
“For this to be repeatable, it couldn’t be a premium, because most businesses are willing to make the change, but they still need to be able to be in business, make money, pay their workers and to purchase materials,” Jackson said. said.
© Thomson Reuters 2023