Apple invests $4.7 billion in low carbon manufacturing, uses carbon-free aluminum in iPhone SE

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Apple said that it has spent $4.7 billion as part of its Green Bond investment fund to support the development of new low-carbon manufacturing and recycling technologies. One of the projects funded under it has developed carbon-free aluminum, which has been used in Apple’s new iPhone SE 2022, the iPhone maker added. 

The carbon-free aluminum used in the iPhone SE was developed using hydropower by Canada-based smelting company Elysis at its Quebec facility. Elysis said the aluminum is ready to be used at an industrial scale in Apple products. 

According to Apple, the low-carbon smelting technology used by Elysis produces oxygen as a byproduct instead of greenhouse gasses generated in traditional smelting. This reduces the carbon footprint of the devices that use aluminum components made with the new smelting process.  

Apple’s $4.7 billion Green Bond investment fund was started in 2016 after the climate change agreement at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21). The first green bond was issued in February with an allocation of $1.5 billion, followed by the second allocation of $1 billion in June 2017. The third allocation with the remainder of the fund was made in November 2019. Elysis’ low carbon innovation was one of the 50 projects funded by the third fund. 

 “Our investments are advancing the breakthrough technologies needed to reduce the carbon footprint of the materials we use, even as we move to use only recyclable and renewable materials across our products to conserve the earth’s finite resources,” Lisa Jackson, vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives at Apple said in an official blog post

Apple claims these 50 projects will offset 2,883,000 metric tons of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) and install close to 700 megawatts of renewable energy capacity around the world. 

 “This is the first time aluminum has been produced at this commercial purity, without any greenhouse gas emission, and at industrial scale. The sale to Apple confirms the market’s interest in aluminum produced using our breakthrough Elysis carbon-free smelting technology,” Vincent Christ, chief executive at Elysis said in a statement. 

Apple has committed to reducing carbon emissions in its operations as well as that of its manufacturing supply chain. The company aims to become 100% carbon neutral across its supply chain and products by 2030. As part of the initiative, all new iPhones, Mac, iPads, and Apple Watch devices are made with recycled material. Apple has also stopped bundling chargers with the new iPhones to reduce its carbon footprint.

 

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