Apple and the Environment

Designed for energy efficiency

Because a significant portion of Apple’s greenhouse gas emissions are a result of the power our products consume, we design those products to be as energy efficient as possible.

Reduced energy use.

We measure our greenhouse gas emissions comprehensively. Unlike others in our industry, we take responsibility for the emissions produced by the products we offer. That’s why we engineer them to be as energy efficient as possible. Why we design power adapters that draw very little power when not in use. And why we make sure the hardware and software work together to conserve energy. The results speak for themselves. Since 2008, we’ve reduced the average power consumed by Apple products by 40 percent.

ENERGY STAR qualification and beyond.

Every Mac and Apple display not only meets but exceeds the strict guidelines for energy efficiency in the ENERGY STAR specification. No other company in our industry can make that claim. In fact, we go well beyond the ENERGY STAR specification, offering notebooks that are up to 2.9x as energy efficient as the ENERGY STAR specification and desktop computers that are up to 7.6x as energy efficient. It’s because we design both the hardware and the software that we can make our products so energy efficient. And we’re continually investing in new technology that will make them even more efficient.

Energy efficiency built in.

There are three ways to reduce a product’s energy consumption: Use more efficient power supplies, use components that require less power, and use power management software. We use all three of these methods in our product design. Here are just a few examples of how we put them to work in our products.

Ambient light sensor, Wake on demand, Power supply efficiency, Automatic graphics switching, Standby power

Ambient light sensor.

The MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, and Apple Thunderbolt Display all have an ambient light sensor built in. This sensor intelligently adjusts the brightness of the display to your environment, giving you the perfect brightness for any condition while minimizing the use of energy.

Wake on demand.

With OS X, you can share your music, files, printers, and even your screen with other computers on your network. Even if your Mac is asleep. A service called Bonjour Sleep Proxy running on your AirPort base station or Time Capsule and the Wake on Demand feature make it possible. Once the request to access a shared item is complete, your Mac goes back to sleep at its regularly scheduled interval. This saves energy while still ensuring full access to all your shared files and devices — even remotely across the Internet.

Power supply efficiency.

Apple custom-designs highly efficient power supplies to reduce the amount of power wasted when bringing electricity from the wall to your computer. All Mac products ship with power supplies that exceed the efficiency standards set by the ENERGY STAR for Computers specification. And with the MacBook family, Apple engineers have gone even further and designed power adapters that draw very little power when not in use: only 30 milliwatts, which is about 0.05 percent of the power consumed by a household 60W lightbulb.

Automatic graphics switching.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display come with automatic graphics switching. This breakthrough technology switches graphics processors on the fly to give you performance when you need it (when you’re playing the latest 3D game, for example) and better battery efficiency when you don’t (like when you’re reading email). It’s another way Apple products save power and extend battery life behind the scenes.

iOS device efficiency.

In a post-PC era, iOS devices are replacing traditional PCs for many computing tasks. iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch are compact and extremely power efficient, which makes their environmental footprint much smaller than that of PCs. In addition, the custom-designed A5 and A6 chips inside these devices deliver both high performance and long battery life.

Standby power.

Unlike a lot of Windows-based PC systems, Mac systems use energy-efficient hardware components that work hand in hand with the operating system to conserve power. OS X spins down hard drives, automatically activates sleep mode, and places systems in an ultra-low power mode when off. In fact, OS X never misses a power-saving opportunity, no matter how small. It even regulates the processor between keystrokes, reducing power between the letters you type.