Corporate Social Responsibility: Apple is one step ahead

No news: again, Apple is one step ahead. Right, it hasn’t been the first company in its sector to launch an environmental campaign. But it has been the first one to transform it into its core mission. The company’s new goal is to make its sustainability “better”– as the “Better” video states. On Earth’s day, 22 April, the Cupertino based firm disclosed to the folks of the world its new strategy. “There are some ideas we want every company to copy” has been printed on several newspapers, over an inviting picture of a solar array. Now, take a minute to observe your exquisite, beloved Mac. I bet you didn’t know that its OS X has been developed to maximize energy saving. When the machine is not at hard work, the operating system puts its hard disk to sleep and runs the processors in an ultra low power mode. On the other hand, when it is hard working, the OS uses less energy for apps that are open but not visible, while it idles the processor as you are typing.

In  the last six years, the average total power consumed by Apple products has dropped by 57%.
The world’s most energy-efficient desktop computer is Mac mini. Today’s iMac uses 97% less electricity in sleep mode than the first iMac. The 11-inch MacBook Air consumes the least total energy in its class.
As a matter of fact, on the website, Apple boasts its entire product line not only meeting, but exceeding ENERGY STAR guidelines.
Now, take your iPhone out of its shiny cover. You should feel free to hold it in your hand: some of the most harmful toxins (mercury, lead, arsenic, PVC, BFRs, Phthalates) have been entirely eliminated from the whole range of Apple products.
Before letting it go, consider for a moment the impact of having reduced the 5s packaging mass by 26%. If it doesn’t impress you, keep in mind that now 60% more iPhone boxes can be packed in each airline shipping container. This saves one flight for every 416,667 units shipped.
Apple measures the carbon footprint (the total amount of carbon dioxide and methane emissions) of its production processes not only in terms of the facilities it owns, but of the whole supply chain. The footprint of its products is measured throughout their entire life: including emissions from manufacturing, transportation, use and recycling.
At this stage, Apple couldn’t but surprise us with the buildings.
73% of all facilities (including all of the data centers and 86% of the corporate campuses) are powered by renewable energy. The same is true for 120 retail stores in the US.
The energy sources include solar, wind, geothermal (the heat of the earth), water (micro-hydro system) and biogas fuel cells.
On top of that, to save water, the company employs an irrigation system that monitors local weather conditions and soil moisture.
In Cupertino Apple will open its huge and revolutionary campus. Here, 80% of the site is going to be green, with thousands of shade and fruit trees and drought-tolerant plants. The source of energy will be solar, while natural ventilation is to be employed for most of the year, through air flowing freely between the inside and the outside. Employees will reach the campus thanks to biofuel buses, public transit, carpools, bicycles and their own feet. The campus is going to be equipped with hundreds of electric vehicle charging stations.
Apple aims to power all its offices, retail stores and data centers entirely with energy from renewable sources.
At this point, the options are two. If this article has been so effective that it has made you want to substitute any device in your house that does not have an apple impressed on it with one that does, I will tell you: wait a minute. While you’re on the way to the Apple store, don’t forget to bring the old device. They will recycle it for you.
Over 90% of the material Apple recycles is not its own.
If, on the other hand, you couldn’t care less about all this environmental chit-chat and this long article has only made you feel like throwing your iPad in the bin, I’m telling you: don’t do it. For your own sake. Take the device and bring it back to the Apple store. If it has monetary value, you will be given an Apple Gift Card. Later on, Apple will recycle the products, but always in the region where the waste is collected.
85% is the company’s recycling collection rate of the total weight of products sold.
You may have never thought it possible, but be aware that now, by purchasing that iPhone, you have become a stakeholder of an environmental campaign.
It’s only a matter of time, and then, again, the firm will set a new trend. But this time, its color is not going to be white. It appears more natural. It’s going to be green: green as an Apple should be.
Let me add one remark. In order to make this article as impartial as possible, I have done some research to find out whether Apple’s sustainability campaign is really as spotless as it looks like. The only information I found is Greenpeace’s ClickingClean report, where Apple is the only company to be awarded with a Clean Energy Index of 100%.

Carlotta Werth