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At 10.2M Metric Tons, Apple Reports Emissions For First Time

apple product emissionsProduct use accounts for 53 percent of the 10.2 million metric tons of emissions associated with the lifecycle analysis of Apple products, according to the company’s latest environmental report.

Manufacturing accounts for 38 percent of the emissions, followed by transportation (5 percent), facilities (3 percent) and recycling (1 percent). Previously, the company had been criticized for not revealing its emissions. In a “Guide to Greener Electronics” issued in July by Greenpeace, Apple rated in the lower-middle of the pack.

apple product materialsIn the new report, Apple puts much stock into reducing the amount of materials used in its products, as well as reducing the amount of toxic materials used (see graphics to the left).

Additionally, Apple has been auditing members of its supply chain. In 2008, Apple audited 83 facilities, up from 39 in 2007. About 97 percent of the core issues assessed by auditors were in compliance, according to the 2009 Supplier Responsibility Progress Report (PDF).

The company also is reducing the amount of packaging used, which enables more unites to be sent in each shipping container. For example, between 2006 and 2009 the packaging for 13-inch MacBooks has been cut 40 percent, meaning the company can fit 50 percent more boxes per airline shipping container.

Below is a look at the company’s recycling record, as a percentage of the weight of products sold seven years earlier.

apple recycling

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One thought on “At 10.2M Metric Tons, Apple Reports Emissions For First Time

  1. Unfortunately the report doesn’t, for obvious PR reasons, acknowledge the role of coal-fired power stations in Shenzhen, China, where sub-contractor Hon Hai makes most of Apple’s products. China is building 550 coal-fired power stations to utilise its ten trillion tonnes of coal reserves, a process encouraged by every iPhone sold in the West. The real emissions totals for Apple, and for other companies outsourcing in China, are far higher than those indicated. Some people would also like to see an account of where the Lithium used in all portable Apple products’ batteries comes from- it’s almost certainly Tibet, which would open up a whole new set of issues for a future report.

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