Apple Inc.

RATING

SECTOR

Technology

WEBSITE

CONTACT

One Apple Park Way
Cupertino
CA 95014
United States

STOCK EXCHANGE

LISTING

  • CDP Climate Change A-List
  • A+ Mind the Store Campaign
  • Arjuna Capital’s Gender Pay Scorecard
  • “Excellent” rating by BREEAM first Gold certification

EMPLOYEES

137,000

CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER

Lisa Jackson

ljackson@apple.com

AWARDS

  • UN Climate Neutral Now Award

CONTENT SOURCE

FURTHER READING

Report created by Aravind Samala

Apple Inc.

SECTIONS :  Sustainability    Evaluation  •  Progress  •  Watch  •  Overview

Company Activity

Apple, Inc. engages in the design, manufacture, and marketing of mobile communication, media devices, personal computers, and portable digital music players.

Apple operates through the following geographical segments: Americas, Europe, Greater China, Japan, and Rest of Asia Pacific.

  • The Americas segment includes both North and South America.
  • The Europe segment consists of European countries, as well as India, the Middle East, and Africa.
  • The Greater China segment comprises China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
  • The Rest of Asia Pacific segment includes Australia and Asian countries not included in the reportable operating segments of the company.

The company is headquartered in Cupertino, CA.

Company Sustainability Activity

Just as much innovation goes into the materials Apple products are made of — and how they’re made — as what they do. According to its website, Apple’s enclosures are made from 100% recycled aluminium, without compromising strength or finish. In so many ways, the most advanced products are the ones that make the least environmental impact.

Apple has a history of channelling innovation to address global challenges. That task has never been more urgent than now, with the existing threats of climate change and environmental degradation that their planet faces. Apple believes they can make the world’s most iconic products—without depleting the earth’s resources.

Apple takes responsibility for the impact of their entire value chain, including the complete life cycle of their products, as well as its own facilities. This includes supporting the environmental innovation needed to help us meet their goals, and creating economic opportunities for minority-owned businesses and institutions that have been historically disadvantaged. By doing so, they hope to build pathways for others to reduce their footprint while addressing environmental impacts that disproportionately negatively affect communities of color.

Highlights

  • Apple remains the largest corporate issuer of green bonds, underscoring their strong commitment to the environment with overall $4.7B green bonds
  • In 2019, they increased their use of recycled water 68%, from 63 million gallons to 106 million gallons
  • They recycled 47,000 metric tons of e-waste in 2019
  • For the first time, in 2019, Apple had zero Scope 2 emissions from electricity
  • The number of facilities participating in their Supplier Energy Efficiency Program grew to 92 in 2019, an 8% increase over the previous year. In 2019, they avoided over 779,000 annualized metric tons of supply chain carbon emissions (CO2e), a 67% improvement compared to 2018

Targets

Climate Change 

  • Transition their entire manufacturing supply chain to 100% renewable electricity by 2030.
  • Reduce emissions by 75% from 2015 levels by 2030.
  • Balance the remaining emissions with high-quality carbon removal projects.

Resources

  • Use only recycled and renewable materials in their products and packaging.
  • Eliminate plastics in their packaging by 2025.
  • Minimize the use of freshwater resources in water-stressed locations.
  • Eliminate waste sent to landfill from their corporate facilities and their suppliers.

Smarter Chemistry

  • Drive 100% transparency of chemical use in their supply chain and products.
  • Minimize exposure to chemicals that could be harmful to human health or the environment.
  • Integrate Smarter Chemistry innovation into the way they build and design their products.

Progress

Climate Change 

  • Apple’s overall carbon footprint was reduced by nearly 35% since its emissions peaked in 2015. And they’ve now committed to carbon neutrality by 2030.
  • By increasing efficiency and using recycled and other low-carbon aluminium in its products, Apple has decreased its carbon footprint by 4.3 million metric tons in 2019
  • In 11 years, they’ve reduced average product energy use by 73%.
  • They use 100% renewable electricity at Apple stores, data centers, and offices across 44 countries. 
  • More than 70 suppliers, out of 200, have committed to 100% renewable electricity for Apple production.
  • Beginning in April 2020, Apple is carbon neutral for their corporate emissions, investing in high-quality projects that protect and restore forests, wetlands, and grasslands.

Resources

  • The Taptic Engine in iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max are built from 100% recycled rare earth elements – a first for Apple and for any smartphone.
  • They expanded their use of 100% recycled tin in the solder on main logic boards to 23 products, including Phone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPad (7th generation), and the 16-inch MacBook Pro.
  • All aluminium enclosures for new iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, and Mac products released in 2019 were made with either 100% recycled or low-carbon primary aluminium.
  • About 22% of the tungsten used in products shipped in 2019 came from recycled sources.
  • They introduced more than 100 components with an average of 46% recycled plastic across products released in 2019.
  • They’ve reduced plastics in their packaging by 58% in four years.
  • More than 11 million devices were sent by Apple to be refurbished for new users in 2019, a 42% increase from the previous year.
  • All final assembly sites for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, AirPods, HomePod, and Apple TV have been certified as UL Zero Waste to Landfill.

Smarter Chemistry

  • Over 900 Apple’s supply chain partners are providing chemical information through their industry-leading Full Material Disclosure Portal.
  • They have collected and validated chemical information for more than 45,000 parts.
  • They’ve created direct relationships with more than 90 raw material suppliers, enabling them to collect the chemical composition of over 1100 raw materials. 
  • They’ve enrolled 100% of supplier final assembly sites in their Safer Cleaners program, representing over 900 metric tons of cleaners used each year by more than 87,000 workers.
  • Over 100 supplier facilities are participating in their Chemicals Management Program that evaluates the safety of chemicals used in their manufacturing process.
  • The Mind the Store campaign, by the NGO Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families gave Apple an A+ rating for their work to eliminate harmful chemicals in products and packaging.

Certificates

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDGs Compliance

SDG 5 & 8

  • Through their employment generation, economic contribution and employee diversity

SDG 12 & 13

  • Through their operational efficiency, reduction in carbon emissions, recycling and renewable energy initiatives

Apple addresses and incorporates sustainability throughout its business model, specifically in its supply and value chain. The company goes into details about its sustainable responsibilities and goals to improve its operations. This is seen through their targets and progress. 

Apple holds several industry certificates (LEED, ISO 14001, BREEAM), as well as numerous listings (CDP Climate Change A-list) and gained the UN Climate Neutral Now Award.

In addition, Apple does comply with several UN Sustainable Development Goals. For these reasons, Apple has been rated a B.

Analyst Outlook: Neutral

Despite reducing its carbon footprint by 25.2 metric tons in 2019, their recycling efforts, workforce diversity, and supplier responsibilities provide Apple with a neutral outlook. The UN Sustainable Development Goals are not an implicit part of Apple’s Sustainability Reports, and key performance indicators are also missing.

Key Points

  • Apple’s progress in recycling their materials
  • Apple’s Supplier code of conduct and 3rd party audits
  • Apple’s responsiveness towards labor rights in China
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