Apple and the Environment

Environmental Progress

For more than 20 years, Apple has been working on ways to minimise the impact our company and our products have on the environment.

Apple’s energy- and material-efficient data centre in Maiden, North Carolina.

Achieving 100 per cent renewable energy.

We’re currently on track towards achieving an ambitious goal: to power every Apple facility entirely with energy from renewable sources — solar, wind, hydro and geothermal. We’ve already reached this milestone at all our data centres that provide online services to our customers, including in Maiden, North Carolina. We’ve also reached 100 per cent at our facilities in Austin, Cork and Munich, and at our Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino.

For all of Apple’s corporate facilities worldwide, we’re at 75 per cent renewable energy — which represents a 114 per cent increase since 2010. To get to 100 per cent worldwide, we’re constructing new energy-efficient buildings and updating existing ones. We’re installing our own onsite renewable energy sources, including solar arrays and fuel cells. And for the balance of our energy needs, we’re establishing as many long-term contracts with energy suppliers as we are allowed. Learn more about Apple and renewable energy


  • Apple launches the redesigned iMac, which uses 68 per cent less material and generates 67 per cent fewer carbon emissions than earlier generations. In addition, the aluminium stand on the iMac is made using 30 per cent recycled content.

  • Apple rolls out a biogas-powered fuel cell and builds rooftop solar photovoltaic systems at our headquarters in Cupertino. At the same location, energy use is cut by over 30 per cent at a time when occupancy increased by more than 12 per cent.

  • Apple introduces its redesigned AirPort Express with an enclosure containing bio-based polymers derived from industrial-grade rapeseed and post-consumer recycled PC-ABS plastic.

  • Apple achieves 100 per cent renewable energy use in corporate facilities in Austin, Elk Grove, Cork and Munich; at many sites in Australia; at the Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino; as well as at data centres in Newark, Maiden and Prineville. Among all Apple corporate facilities worldwide, 75 per cent of the total energy used comes from renewable sources — a 114 per cent increase since 2010.

  • At the data centre in Maiden, North Carolina, Apple completes construction and begins operation of the largest end-user-owned solar array and the largest non-utility fuel cell in the United States.


  • Apple commissions our data centre in Maiden, North Carolina and it earns the coveted LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

  • Apple introduces new iTunes cards using 100 per cent recyclable paper.

  • Apple introduces the Mac App Store in 123 countries, providing customers with one-click access to Mac software, including OS X Mountain Lion. Digital downloads dramatically reduce the environmental impact of delivering software by eliminating the packaging and transportation of boxed software. In addition, Apple eliminates restore DVDs previously included in Mac product packaging.

  • Apple ships iPad 2, featuring the powerful yet power-efficient dual-core A5 system-on-a-chip. iPad 2 is up to twice as fast as the original iPad, while still delivering up to 10 hours of battery life* — all in a design that’s 33 per cent thinner and up to 15 per cent lighter than its predecessor.

  • All Apple products exceed the strict ENERGY STAR guidelines for energy efficiency. All products are at least twice as energy efficient as the ENERGY STAR specification and Mac mini is up to six times more energy efficient.

    * Battery life varies by use and configuration. See for more information.


  • All displays offered by Apple use mercury-free LED backlight technology with arsenic-free display glass.

  • Apple introduces the Apple Battery Charger for rechargeable batteries. Using rechargeable batteries instead of disposable alkaline batteries reduces the battery waste by 78 per cent and the carbon footprint by 63 per cent over a four-year period.*

    * Based on average life of an alkaline battery used in an Apple Wireless Keyboard, Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad over a four-year period.

  • Apple introduces the new Mac mini, the world’s most energy-efficient desktop computer. It can operate on just 10 watts of electricity, which is less power than a single energy-efficient CFL light bulb.

  • Apple’s facilities in Cork, Ireland; Austin, Texas; and Sacramento, California, convert to using 100 per cent renewable energy.

  • PVC-free cables ship with all iPod, iPhone and iPad devices worldwide. PVC-free cables ship with all notebook, Apple TV, Mac mini, iMac and 27-inch LED Cinema Display products in the US and in other countries where agency approvals are granted.


  • Apple reveals complete life cycle analysis of greenhouse gas emissions, setting a new standard of full environmental disclosure. While other companies report on a fraction of their emissions, Apple is the only company in the industry that publishes the environmental footprint of each of its products.

  • The new Mac mini, iMac and Mac Pro meet the ENERGY STAR 5.0 specification.

  • All products ship BFR-free and with mercury-free LED-backlit displays and arsenic-free display glass.

  • Apple introduces a new built-in battery with the MacBook Pro family that lasts nearly three times longer than typical notebook batteries.

  • Apple achieves a recycling rate of 66.4 per cent (as a percentage of weight from 2003 sales).


  • Apple introduces the unibody MacBook and MacBook Pro, made with recyclable aluminium and glass enclosures with arsenic- and mercury-free displays and BFR- and PVC-free internal components.

  • MacBook Air is the first Mac to use mercury-free backlight technology with arsenic-free LCD display glass.

  • iPhone 3G ships with PVC-free handset, headphones and USB cables; BFR-free printed circuit boards; and a mercury- and arsenic-free display.

  • Apple achieves a recycling rate of 41.9 per cent (as a percentage of weight from 2002 sales).


  • First products with bromine-free printed circuit board laminates are introduced.

  • First MacBook Pro with mercury-free LED-backlit display is announced.

  • Apple expands its employee commuter programme in the US to include fuel-efficient biodiesel commuter coaches.


  • Apple is the first computer manufacturer to entirely replace CRT displays with material-efficient and energy-efficient LCDs.



  • Investigation into BFR-free and PVC-free cable enclosures and printed circuit boards begins.

  • Phase-out of substances included in the European Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive is initiated.


  • Supplier survey initiative on substance use is initiated.


  • Product take-back solutions are implemented in the US and Japan.

  • Apple’s global Regulated Substances Specification is rolled out.

  • Apple signs the European Union Code of Conduct on Power Supplies, which encourages manufacturers to design power supplies that minimise energy consumption in off mode.

  • Apple becomes a founding member of the US Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), which introduces energy efficiency requirements for the off mode of computer products.


  • Apple computers and displays first meet applicable ENERGY STAR requirements.

  • Apple starts voluntary phase-out of tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) in all plastic enclosure parts greater than 25 grams.

  • Apple begins purchasing 100 per cent of the electricity for our Austin facility from renewable sources by participating in Austin’s “Green Choice” Power Program.


  • All Apple manufacturing sites are ISO 14001 certified worldwide, signifying that Apple has a structured environmental management system (EMS) in place to manage the environmental impact of our operations.


  • Apple Product Environmental Specifications (APES) files are introduced.

  • Lead and cadmium in cables are restricted.


  • The first Apple products are tested for conformity to TCO (Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees) standards.


  • The first Apple manufacturing site (Sacramento, California) becomes ISO 14001 certified.


  • PVC in packaging materials is phased out.


  • The first voluntary Apple product take-back programme is initiated in Germany, with gradual expansion to other regions.

  • Phase-out of nickel-cadmium batteries begins.


  • Apple becomes a founding member of the US Environmental Protection Agency ENERGY STAR programme, developed to identify and promote energy-efficient computers and monitors.

  • Phase-out of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in Apple manufacturing begins, as stipulated in the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer.


  • Phase-out of lead in batteries begins in advance of the 1996 European battery directive.


  • Apple’s environmental policy is released and implemented.