Questions Answered

Who leads environmental efforts at Apple?

Apple is committed to addressing climate change, developing green materials for safer products and using materials as efficiently as possible. In June 2013, Apple CEO Tim Cook appointed Lisa Jackson as Vice President, Environmental Initiatives. The Office of Environmental Initiatives works with teams from across Apple to set strategy, engage stakeholders and communicate progress.

Apple's Board of Directors oversees the CEO and other senior management in the competent and ethical operation of Apple on a day-to-day basis and assures that the long-term interests of shareholders are being served. The Vice President, Environmental Initiatives reports to the CEO. Our integrated approach means that decisions about environmental issues are reviewed at the highest levels of the company. Executive Team members regularly review each new product during its development, focusing on material and design choices, the supply chain, packaging and product energy efficiency.

How does Apple conduct its Product Greenhouse Gas Life Cycle Analysis?

Apple uses five steps when conducting a product life cycle analysis (LCA):

  1. Data collection starts with measuring the power consumed by a product while it is running under a simulated use scenario. Different scenarios are used for different product lines. For example, we assume a four‑year average use period for Mac computers. To be conservative, we also assume an office scenario use pattern for every computer shipped and apply that use pattern to 365 days of use per year. For handheld products, such as iPod, iPad and iPhone, we assume a three‑year use period. For these products, charging patterns are defined according to a ‘power user’, which we define as intense daily use over a three‑year period. More information on our product power modes is provided in our Product Environmental Reports.

  2. The second step is a part‑by‑part measurement of the entire product. This helps us accurately measure the size and weight of the components and materials in the product. Since a single product can contain several hundred parts, this step is supported by double‑checking individual part details with the product’s bill of materials. We include material and component yield loss during production as part of this process. We also account for the transporting materials between manufacturing sites. Production emissions for external accessories, such as keyboards and mice and packaging are also included in this step.

  3. The third step assesses emissions from transporting finished products to sales regions. Data is collected on single units and multipack units of product shipments as they are transported over land, by sea and by air. The majority of the product transportation emissions are associated with getting the products from Asia to sales distribution hubs in Europe, Asia and the Americas. The final leg of transport between regional hubs and individual customers is accounted for using an overall adjustment factor.

  4. The fourth step of the product life cycle measurement is the collection and recycling of the product when it reaches the end of its useful life. Transportation between customers and recycling plants — along with the treatment steps carried out by the recycler to obtain metal, plastic and glass material streams — are all accounted for in this calculation. Subsequent processing and smelting steps are not included, as these are considered stages of production and not end‑of‑life processing.

  5. After we collect all the data, the final step is to run the product data model in our LCA tool and compile detailed results for greenhouse gas emissions as they relate to the product. The data and life cycle model used in the tool are checked for quality and accuracy by the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany.

Does Apple use external verification and assurance for its carbon emissions reporting?

Yes. We engage in third-party verification for our carbon emissions reporting. The World Resource Institute (WRI)/World Business Council for Sustainable Developments (WBCSD) Greenhouse Gas Protocol is used in these calculations.

Bureau Veritas (BV), a global leader in conformity assessment and certification services, provided reasonable assurance, one of the highest in the verification industry for our Scope 1 and 2 emissions. It is the opinion of BV that the information in our greenhouse gas emissions report is accurate and reliable. See the BV statement here.

Scope 3 carbon emissions related to our products, calculated using life cycle assessment, are checked for quality and accuracy by the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany, in accordance with the internationally recognised ISO 14000 environmental management standards: ISO 14040 and 14044.

Does Apple index its environmental performance data using Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines?

Yes. Environmental performance data covering energy and water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and waste production is provided in the 2014 Environmental Responsibility Report (PDF).

Is Apple ISO 14001 certified?

Apple first achieved ISO 14001 certification for a manufacturing site in 1996. ISO 14001 is a voluntary international standard that establishes the requirements for an organisation’s environmental management system (EMS). The ISO 14001 standard helps a company manage the environmental impact of its operations in a systematic way that is integrated with overall business management processes.

Does Apple ban environmentally sensitive substances?

Yes. Apple’s Regulated Substances Specification details a broad range of substances that are restricted or banned from use in Apple products, packaging and manufacturing. Learn more about our efforts to reduce or eliminate harmful toxins.

Do Apple products contain lead?

Apple is in compliance with the European Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive, which restricts the use of lead and other substances. As a result of our precautionary approach to substances, Apple phased out lead in plastic parts, paint and packaging material long before the RoHS Directive came into effect.

What are Apple’s restrictions on brominated flame retardant–free (BFR-free) and polyvinyl chloride–free (PVC-free) products?

Apple defines a material as BFR-free and PVC-free if it contains less than 900 parts per million (ppm) of bromine and of chlorine. The 900-ppm limit is one of the strictest in the electronics industry and a concentration lower than the ban on lead in the European RoHS Directive. Since BFRs and PVC need to be present in much higher quantities to be effective, most materials that contain less than 900 ppm bromine and chlorine do not have any detectable levels of bromine or chlorine present.

Which products are covered by Apple’s BFR-free and PVC-free transition?

Apple’s phasing out of BFRs and PVC covers all parts of new Apple product designs manufactured after 31 December 2008. iPad, iPod and iPhone are examples of products that are BFR-free and PVC-free. While Apple’s phasing out will cover the vast majority of products and components, older product designs, replacement parts, and accessories for older product designs may not be fully BFR-free and PVC-free.

What is REACH, and how is Apple complying with the REACH regulation?

The Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals Regulation EC 1907/2007, commonly referred to as REACH, is a European regulation on chemicals and their safe use. With the publication of candidate lists for authorisation, the European Chemicals Agency identifies sets of substances of very high concern (SVHC) that manufacturers must disclose to customers if used in their products above 0.1 per cent.

Based on the current version of the candidate list for authorisation, Apple products do not contain SVHC above 0.1 per cent.

Does Apple use ozone-depleting substances?

No ozone-depleting substances (ODCs) are used in any processes to manufacture components, materials or product packaging materials used by Apple, as stipulated by the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer.

Does Apple have an Environmental Health and Safety Policy?

Apple is committed to protecting the environment, health and safety of our employees, customers and the global communities in which we operate. For more information, read our Environmental Health and Safety Policy statement (PDF).

Does Apple recycle packaging?

Apple offers free recycling of packaging from Apple products for education, business and government customers. Contact your Apple sales representative for more information.