Sarah E. Needleman, Wall Street Journal:
Apple Inc. is pledging to become carbon neutral across its business, including its mostly overseas supply chain, within the next 10 years, the latest corporate giant planning to shift its operations to battle climate change.
The iPhone maker said Tuesday that the new commitment means that by 2030, every Apple device sold will have been produced with no net release of carbon into the atmosphere. The company plans to reduce its emissions by 75% and develop carbon-removal solutions for the remaining 25% of its footprint.
Apple said its global corporate operations are already carbon neutral and that all of its iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch devices released in the past year are made with some recycled content.
As Needleman reports, this pledge is similar to those made by Amazon and Microsoft; it also builds upon Apple’s 2017 commitment to make its supply chain a “closed loop”.
Emily Farra interviewed Lisa Jackson, who is leading these efforts at Apple, for Vogue:
Farra: To me, this feels like a turning point in the way brands are taking a stand and getting involved in these issues like climate change, systemic racism—things that were relegated to the government in the past.
Jackson: There is a huge, important role for the government to play when you talk about any of these issues—sustainability, human rights, civil rights. Nothing we do can replace the role of government and leadership, because the government can help set a level playing field so you don’t have companies shirking their responsibilities. There has to be leadership to tackle these big issues on behalf of citizens. We’ve heard companies talk about their social and environmental commitments before, but I think what’s new is that the current generation is saying, “Don’t talk to me, show me.”
Zoya Teirstein, Grist:
Apple also still hasn’t changed its repair policy to allow users and independent fixers to fix phones without Apple’s permission. Right now, people who own Apple products have three options when their devices break or die: spend lots of money on an Apple-authorized repair, void their warranty by going to an unauthorized repair shop, or buy a new device. Giving consumers a “right to repair” would keep electronics out of landfills and cut down on rampant consumerism. Apple’s Environmental Progress Report touts a recent expansion of the Apple Authorized Service Provider network, which should make it easier for users to find repair businesses that can fix their devices without voiding their warranties, and it also says it’s making “design choices so that products are easier to repair.” But Apple is still monopolizing the repair process, even as it notes that “making repairs more convenient and reliable is directly aligned with our goal of creating long-lasting products that maximize the resources we use.”
Apple does a lot to encourage people to keep their old products even as it introduces new ones nearly annually. iOS 14 will run on the five year old iPhone 6S; MacOS Big Sur will run on seven year old Macs. But I think it is fighting a losing battle against right to repair legislation.