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Apple aims for carbon neutrality, seeks wider local community support in India


The scope of Apple’s environment initiatives for India have been widened, with the tech giant announcing a partnership with non-government organisation Frank Water. The focus will be on improving water quality and supply, as well as availability of sanitation and hygiene facilities. Apple says the pilot project begins with the Anekal taluk, in the outskirts of Bengaluru. This builds on existing initiatives in India, including mangrove preservation and training programs for women in villages.

The projects Apple is undertaking in India work parallelly with the changes the company has made to the way its product lines are manufactured, with increased focus on use of renewable energy, recycled materials, lower carbon footprint and eliminate manufacturing waste.

“Some of the most powerful solutions to climate change and the global water crisis come from the communities living every day with these challenges,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives.

Apple said a thorough analysis of water sources and household surveys allowed for comprehensive data on water consumption trends. Subsequently, water conservation experts, local organisations, businesses, and community members will work to solve issues of water supply and conservation. “By supporting innovative, community-based approaches in India and around the world, Apple is making progress toward our global climate goals while doing our part to help people improve their lives,” she added.

Earlier, Apple had begun working with the Applied Environmental Research Foundation to promote the protection and conservation of mangroves in Maharashtra. Mangroves can store up to 10 times more carbon per acre than terrestrial forests. Apple has also collaborated with the Barefoot College to conduct training programs for women in rural India, with particular focus on the advantages of using solar energy in communities.

This is part of Apple’s much wider environment focus. The company is already carbon neutral for its global corporate operations and has targeted to make the entire supply chain carbon neutral by 2030.

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Last year, Apple said they’ll be using the world’s first direct carbon-free aluminium in its iPhones beginning with iPhone SE. Direct carbon-free aluminium is the result of improvements in smelting technology to reduce emissions. This aluminium is the first to be manufactured on an industrial scale outside of a laboratory and does not create any direct carbon emissions during the smelting process. Hydropower was used in the process of making this aluminium. As a result, the process to make this aluminium produces oxygen, instead of direct greenhouse gas emissions that emerge from the traditional methods.

The Apple iPad Pro line-up, for instance, has a 100% aluminium enclosure. The Mac Mini has logged, what Apple claims, a 34% reduction in manufacturing carbon footprint, once the company shifted to their M1 processors from Intel chips.

The Apple iPhone 14 series, for instance, has fully recycled gold in the wire of all cameras, recycled tin is used in the solder of the main logic board while the antenna lines are made from upcycled plastic bottles that may have otherwise ended up in a landfill. Overall, Apple’s product lines continue to reduce the use of plastic, while focusing on recycled, upcycled and zero-waste materials.

“We’re working to remove carbon from the atmosphere to address the emissions we can’t yet avoid, while also supporting local communities and restoring biodiversity,” according to Apple’s plan for ‘net zero’ carbon impact by 2030.


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