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 in the US.

Achieving 100 per cent renewable energy.

We’re currently on track toward 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 of our data centres that provide online services to our customers, including in Maiden, North Carolina in the US. We’ve also reached 100 per cent at our facilities in Austin (USA), Cork (Ireland) and Munich (Germany), 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 biobased 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 and Elk Grove in the US; in Cork, Ireland and Munich, Germany; at many sites in Australia; at the Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino; and at data centres in Newark, Maiden and Prineville in the US. 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 US 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 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 compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) lightbulb.

  • Apple’s facilities in Cork, Austin and Sacramento 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 for 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. It 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 a mercury-free LED-backlit display is announced.

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


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



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

  • Apple begins phasing out substances included in the European Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive.


  • Apple launches a supplier survey initiative regarding substance use.


  • 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 when they are in off mode.

  • Apple becomes a founding member of 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 voluntarily phasing out tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) in all plastic enclosure parts weighing more 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 introduces our Product Environmental Specifications (APES) files.

  • 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 (in Sacramento, California) becomes ISO 14001 certified.


  • Apple phases out PVC in packaging materials.


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

  • Apple begins phasing out nickel-cadmium batteries.


  • Apple becomes a founding member of the US EPA ENERGY STAR program, developed to identify and promote energy-efficient computers and monitors.

  • Apple begins phasing out chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in our manufacturing processes, as stipulated in the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer.


  • Apple begins phasing out the use of lead in batteries in advance of the 1996 European battery directive.


  • Apple’s environmental policy is released and implemented.