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Apple is going fully carbon neutral by 2030 – will other tech giants follow suit?

Apple has committed to taking the entire company carbon neutral by 2030 as it seeks to set new environmental standards for the tech industry and beyond.

The iPhone maker says it is setting a roadmap for other companies with its plans to reduce carbon emissions by 75%, while outlining new solutions to offset the other 25% of its footprint. The company says that by the time 2030 rolls around, every device you buy from Apple will be 100% carbon neutral.

In a media release, CEO Tim Cook said the commitment represents the dawn of a new era of innovative potential that will have plenty of benefits beyond progress in the fight against climate change.

“Businesses have a profound opportunity to help build a more sustainable future, one born of our common concern for the planet we share,” Cook said.

“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.”

Apple says recycled materials will become and increasingly important part of its product development, while improving its manufacturing process for a greater reliance on carbon-free techniques.

The firm explains: “Apple is supporting the development of the first-ever direct carbon-free aluminium smelting process through investments and collaboration with two of its aluminium suppliers. Today the company is announcing that the first batch of this low carbon aluminium is currently being used in production intended for use with the 16-inch MacBook Pro.”

Apple is also investing in multiple energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives while making big commitments to carbon removal projects.

The firm writes: “In partnership with Conservation International, the company will invest in new projects, building on learnings from existing work like restoring degraded savannas in Kenya and a vital mangrove ecosystem in Colombia. Mangroves not only protect the coasts and help support the livelihood of those communities where they grow, but they also can store up to 10 times more carbon than forests on land.”

Apple’s data centres have been powered by 100% renewable energy since 2014. We would like to see the company do more in reducing the precious earth materials it uses for its phones and tablets, but Apple is continues to take a leadership role.

Apple adds: “All iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch devices released in the past year are made with recycled content, including 100 percent recycled rare earth elements in the iPhone Taptic Engine — a first for Apple and for any smartphone.”

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