We can’t manufacture natural resources. So we invent ways to make the most of them.

Reuse & Recycling

One of the best ways to use a resource is to reuse it.

We work hard to keep electronic devices out of landfills so that the precious resources they contain can be reused. And we want to ensure that these devices are recycled properly so they don’t pose a threat to human health or the environment. That’s why we’ve developed recycling collection events, take-back initiatives and efforts like Apple Renew, a global programme that lets you bring used Apple devices to any Apple Store for reuse or responsible recycling. We’re also working with over 160 recyclers around the world, whose facilities we hold to rigorous standards of environmental compliance, health and safety, and social responsibility. Through our efforts, we’ve kept more than 270 million kg of equipment out of landfills since 1994.

We also see a huge opportunity to improve the way we reclaim finite resources from our products. Existing recycling techniques, such as shredding, only recover a few kinds of materials and often diminish their quality. So we invented Liam, a line of robots that can quickly disassemble iPhone 6, sorting its high-quality components and reducing the need to mine more resources from the earth. With two Liam lines up and running, we can take apart up to 2.4 million phones a year. It’s an experiment in recycling technology, but we hope this kind of thinking will inspire others in our industry.

In addition, we’re committed to making sure all the waste created by our supply chain and by us is reused, recycled, composted or, when necessary, converted into energy. It’s an ambitious goal that requires collaboration among multiple Apple teams, local governments, and specialty recyclers, but we’ve already seen great success. In 2015, our facility in Cork, Ireland, was the first outside North America to receive UL’s Zero Waste to Landfill validation. In 2016, our assembly supplier sites, Foxconn Guanlan and Foxconn Taiyuan, were the first to receive this validation in China, and all our remaining iPhone and Apple Watch sites are on track to do the same before 2017. And most recently, all our stores worldwide have initiated zero waste programmes.

Amount of material recovered for reuse through take-back initiatives in 2015

27,839 metric tons
  • Steel 12,750
  • Plastics 6,090
  • Glass 5,420
  • Aluminium 2,050
  • Copper 1,340
  • Cobalt 86
  • Nickel 18
  • Lead 20
  • Zinc 59
  • Tin 2
  • Silver 3
  • Gold 1

Water Conservation

Every molecule of water we use matters.

We’re constantly working to minimise our water use, so we monitor it within our cooling, landscaping, and sanitation processes and at our manufacturing sites. Then we develop targeted ways to reduce it. That includes creating cooling systems in our data centres that can reuse water up to 35 times. Or, for facilities in drier climates, installing intelligent irrigation systems that monitor weather and deploy water only when needed.

In 2015, we started collecting even more sophisticated data to help strengthen our conservation strategy. We’ve begun to measure the water it takes to manufacture each of our products, starting with iPhone. And now we’re identifying the high-, medium-, and low-scarcity areas where we use water, so we can focus our efforts where they matter most.

To reduce water usage and prevent water pollution in our supply chain, we also established the Clean Water Programme. This initiative allows us to work directly with our suppliers to develop individual improvement plans. Through employee training, baseline assessments, performance evaluations and technical support, we’ve already helped 73 facilities increase their reuse and recycling of treated wastewater, and save over 14.3 billion litres of water.


We’re not just protecting forests. We’re protecting generations of them.

Forests provide wood fibre for the paper we use in our packaging. They also clean our air, purify our water and shelter our wildlife. So we work hard to minimise our impact by sourcing paper responsibly and using it as efficiently as possible. But that’s not enough. The world’s forests still face widespread destruction due to illegal logging, poor management and aggressive land development. That’s why we’re determined to protect and create enough responsibly managed forests around the world to cover all our packaging needs and produce fibre for generations.*

How we’re reducing our impact.

Using paper more efficiently. We look for ways to make our packaging smaller, we’re creating technologies that use paper more efficiently, and we use recycled paper whenever we can. In fact, in fiscal year 2015, more than 60 per cent of the paper used in our packaging was made of recycled wood fibre.

Sourcing virgin paper responsibly. When we use virgin paper in our packaging, our suppliers must source it from sustainably managed forests or controlled wood sources. And we conduct regular audits to ensure that they adhere to our specifications. In fiscal year 2015, over 99 per cent of the virgin paper used in our packaging met these requirements.

Protecting sustainable forests. We continue to protect and create sustainable working forests because, when properly managed, they can provide abundant resources for a long time. In partnership with The Conservation Fund, we’ve protected over 14,500 hectares of sustainable forest in the Eastern United States and responsibly harvested more than 13,000 metric tons of wood. And our latest effort in China with World Wildlife Fund is our most ambitious yet. We’re working to transition up to 400,000 hectares of forest into responsible management by 2020.

Product Design

A durable device is a greener device.

When products can be used longer, fewer resources need to be extracted from the earth to make new ones. So we assess all our products in our Reliability Testing Lab, using custom, comprehensive measures. And we release regular software updates that keep our products current and reduce the need to replace them as often.