Finite Resources

Not everything can be replaced. So we reuse and recycle.

Aluminum purification at one of our suppliers in Taiwan.

We’re conscious of how we use resources that may not be around forever. So we’re designing products that use fewer materials than ever before. We’ve come up with innovative ways to minimize the environmental impact of our raw materials by using more recycled, recyclable and sustainable plant‑based materials. And we’re striving to reuse as much water as we can when manufacturing our products, and in the data centres that help those products and services work.

Making the most of our materials.

Over the past decade, Apple designers and engineers have continued to pioneer new ways to build our products with less material. Manufacturing innovations such as unibody construction have allowed products like iPad, MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air to become thinner while being even more resilient. Today’s Mac Pro uses 74 percent less aluminum and steel than the previous design. The newest 21.5‑inch iMac is made with 68 percent less material than the first iMac, and the new MacBook uses 32 percent less aluminum than the first-generation MacBook Air.

We’re constantly striving to design products that are thin and light — not just so they’re beautiful and portable, but also so they require fewer materials to manufacture.
Kate BergeronVP, Hardware Engineering, Apple,at our product design studio in Cupertino, California.
When it comes to processing electronic waste, it’s all about attention to detail. We work hard to find recycling partners that share our vision.
Ken SparkmanGlobal Environmental Program Manager, Apple,at a partner recycling facility in France.

Keep recycling local.

All electronic waste we collect worldwide is processed in the region where it’s collected — nothing is shipped overseas for disposal. The vast majority of our recycling is handled in‑region, so we can make sure our recycled materials are not being dumped unsafely in developing countries — a common problem in our industry. This also helps us keep our transportation‑related greenhouse gas emissions low. We currently work with 140 partners around the globe whose facilities are rigorously evaluated annually on health and safety, environmental compliance, material tracking, social responsibility and other Apple mandates.

Learn more about our recycling programs
Apple employees conduct an audit at our partner recycling centre in France, ensuring that materials collected are handled properly.
Water is a precious resource. So we’re helping our suppliers comply with both local water use standards and those we set at Apple.
Emily ChenEHS Program Manager, Apple,at our supplier Dongguan Meadville Circuits in China.

Overall, we converted over 130,000 square feet of landscaping to be better suited to our climate and to use less water. These efforts translate to an estimated water savings of 8.7 million litres of water per year.

To make sure our suppliers are also part of our water conservation efforts, we’ve established the Clean Water Program. This initiative helps reduce water use, promote water recycling and reuse, and prevent illegal water pollution within our supply chain.

The Clean Water Program has already proved successful at several of our supplier sites, including Dongguan Meadville Circuits (DMC), located in China’s Guangdong Province. In September 2013, DMC had a nearly 12 percent wastewater reuse rate. After enrolling in the Clean Water Program and working with our experts, DMC’s wastewater reuse rate climbed to approximately 61 percent by the end of 2014.

Learn more about our Clean Water Program