Additional Questions More answers to your questions about Apple and the environment.

Who leads environmental efforts at Apple?

In June 2013, Apple CEO Tim Cook appointed Lisa P. Jackson as Vice President, Environmental Initiatives. The Office of Environmental Initiatives works with teams across Apple to set strategy, engage stakeholders, and communicate progress on Apple’s commitments to address climate change, develop green materials for safer products, and use materials as efficiently as possible.

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 ensures that the long-term interests of shareholders are being served. Lisa, who is now Vice President, Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, reports to the CEO. Our integrated approach means that decisions about environmental and social 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 Assessment?

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

  1. To model the manufacturing phase, we use part-by-part measurements of the entire product along with data on part production. The measurements help us accurately determine the size and weight of the components and materials in the product, while data on manufacturing processes and yield loss during production allows us to account for the impact of manufacturing. The LCA includes accessories and packaging, as well as decreased emissions through Apple’s Supplier Clean Energy Program. When calculating Apple’s comprehensive carbon footprint, we also include units that are repaired and replaced through AppleCare.
  2. To model customer use, we measure the power consumed by a product while it is running in a simulated scenario. Daily usage patterns are specific to each product and are a mixture of actual and modeled customer use data. For the purposes of our assessment, years of use, which are based on first owners, are modeled to be four years for macOS and tvOS devices and three years for iOS and watchOS devices. Most Apple products last longer and are often passed along, resold, or returned to Apple by the first owner for others to use. More information on our product energy use is provided in our Product Environmental Reports.
  3. To model transportation, we use data collected on shipments of single products and multipack units by land, sea, and air. We account for transporting materials between manufacturing sites; transporting products from manufacturing sites to regional distribution hubs; transporting products from regional distribution hubs to individual customers; and transporting products from final customers to recycling facilities.
  4. To model end of life, we use material composition data on our products and estimate the ratio of products that are sent to recycling or disposal. For products sent to recycling, we capture the initial processing by the recycler to prepare the product for recovery of electronic, metal, plastic, and glass material streams. Subsequent downstream recycling processes are not included, as these are considered stages of production and not end‑of‑life processing. For products sent to disposal, we capture the emissions associated with landfilling or incineration of each type of material.
  5. After we collect data about manufacturing, use, transportation, and end of life, we combine it with detailed greenhouse gas emission data. This emission data is based on a combination of Apple-specific and industry-average datasets for material production, manufacturing processes, electricity generation, and transportation. Renewable energy used in the supply chain, initiated by suppliers independently or through the Apple Supplier Clean Energy Program, is also accounted for within the LCA model. Combining product-specific information with emission data in our LCA allows us to compile detailed results for greenhouse gas emissions as they relate to each product. The data and modeling approaches are checked for quality and accuracy by the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany.

There is inherent uncertainty in modeling carbon emissions due primarily to data limitations. For the top component contributors to Apple’s carbon emissions, Apple addresses this uncertainty by developing detailed process-based environmental models with Apple-specific parameters. For the remaining elements of Apple’s carbon footprint, we rely on industry average data and assumptions.

Additional information on Apple’s LCA methodology is contained in a white paper that was presented at the 2018 CARE Innovation Conference in Vienna, Austria.

Does Apple set greenhouse gas emission reduction goals?

We calculate our carbon footprint comprehensively — considering not only the emissions from our direct operations, but also the life cycle carbon impacts of our products. We then set out to create a robust renewable energy program to address these emissions. In 2018, we announced that we reached our goal of powering all our corporate facilities (Scope 2 emissions) with renewable energy. That means we generate or procure 100% renewable energy for all the electricity used at our data centers, retail stores, and offices across 43 countries around the globe.

We also have a goal of reducing emissions in our supply chain by helping our suppliers switch to clean energy. Apple and our suppliers are working to generate and procure more than 4 gigawatts of new renewable energy worldwide by 2020. This goal represents approximately one-third of our current manufacturing carbon footprint.

Does Apple report country-specific environmental data?

Yes. We breakdown our scope 1 and 2 emissions, natural gas and electricity use for select geographies in our 2019 Environmental Responsibility Report (PDF). The reports also provides further information on energy use at our data centers.

Does Apple obtain third-party verification and assurance for its environmental impact data?

Yes. We obtain third-party verification for our Scope 1, 2, and 3 greenhouse gas emissions, as well as our energy use, paper use, waste and water impacts for our data centers, offices, and retail stores worldwide. Bureau Veritas (BV) provides “reasonable assurance” — one of the highest levels of verification in the industry — for this environmental impact data. See the BV statement here. Scope 3 renewable energy productions and avoided carbon emissions related to our Clean Energy Program are also verified to a level of “limited assurance” by BV. See the BV statement here.

Scope 3 greenhouse gas 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 recognized ISO 14000 environmental management standards: ISO 14040 and 14044. See the Fraunhofer statement here.

Does Apple have an Environmental Health and Safety Policy?

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

Does Apple restrict substances that are hazardous to human health and the environment?

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. All Apple products conform to the European Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive, which restricts the use of lead and other substances. Apple defines a material as RoHS compliant if it conforms to European Union Directive 2011/65/EU and its amendments, including exemptions for the use of lead. Apple is working to phase out the use of these exempted substances where technically possible. As a result of our precautionary approach to substances, many of Apple’s restrictions exceed regulatory requirements. View Apple’s Regulated Substances Specification (PDF) to learn more about our efforts to reduce and eliminate hazardous substances.

In addition, all Apple products comply with Vietnamese Circular 30/2011/TT-BCT, regulating lead and other substances in electronic products.

Does Apple restrict brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from its products?

Yes. 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. If BFRs or PVC were present, the bromine or chlorine levels would need to be significantly higher than 900 ppm in order to be effective.

Apple’s phaseout of BFRs and PVC covers all new Apple product designs manufactured since 2009, all Beats products manufactured since 2016, and Beddit Sleep Monitors manufactured since late 2018. While Apple’s phaseout covers the vast majority of products and components, some older Apple product designs may not be fully BFR‑free and PVC‑free. However, these products, including their replacement parts and accessories, were still designed to meet regulatory requirements.

Power cords in Thailand, India, and South Korea contain PVC due to country-specific requirements. We continue to seek approval for our PVC replacement.

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

The Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals Regulation EC 1907/2006, commonly referred to as REACH, is a European regulation on chemicals and their safe use. With the publication of candidate lists for authorization, 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% by weight.

Based on the current version of the candidate list for authorization, Apple products contain the following SVHCs above the disclosure threshold:

SVHC
Application
Products
1,3-propanesultone
Lithium-Ion Batteries
iPhone, iPad, MacBook, Apple Watch, AirPods, Beats wireless headphones and speakers, iPod, Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, Magic Keyboard, iPhone Smart Battery Case, Apple Pencil
1,2-dimethoxyethane
Coin Cell Batteries
Apple Remote, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac mini
Lead titanium zirconium oxide
Hard Disk Drives
iMac, Mac mini, AirPort Time Capsule
2-(2H-benzotriazol-2-yl)-4,6-ditertpentylphenol (UV-328)
Fabric Sleeve
Beddit Sleep Monitor
Lead
Metal Alloys (internal mechanical parts) and High Temperature Solder (internal circuit boards)*
iPhone, iPad, MacBook, Apple Watch, AirPods, Beats wireless headphones and speakers, Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, Apple Pencil, iMac, Mac Pro

*Application exempted from EU RoHS requirement

The SVHCs used in these products do not pose a safety risk to customers under normal use conditions. To ensure that these products are recycled appropriately, you can return your Apple device to an Apple Store for free recycling or visit www.apple.com/hk/en/trade-in for more information about our recycling services.

Does Apple use ozone-depleting substances?

No ozone‑depleting chemicals (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.

How is Apple helping to accelerate a circular economy?

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. Apple’s continuing focus on making the best and most durable products, coupled with expert repair services, ensures that our products are used for a very long time. When our customers are done using their devices, we make it easy for to return them through Apple Trade In — so devices can be passed on to another user or recycled responsibly.

In 2017, Apple made public our commitment to one day make products using only renewable and recycled materials. And, where necessary, we aim to contribute material back to the market for Apple or others to use. With advancements like Daisy, our newest disassembly robot, we can recover more materials at a higher quality than through traditional recycling processes.

We have initiatives in place to ensure that the materials we use in our products are sourced responsibly — through strict standards and programs that drive positive change. We are continuing that commitment, but we are also challenging ourselves to make all our products without extracting finite resources from the earth. It’s an ambitious goal that will require years of collaboration across Apple teams, our suppliers, and recyclers — but our work is already under way.

For more information on our progress to date, read the 2019 Environmental Responsibility Report (PDF).

How do I make the most of the battery in my Apple device?

You can learn more about how your battery charges and maximizing battery performance by visiting www.apple.com/hk/en/batteries/maximizing-performance.

When and how should I get the battery of my Apple device replaced?

You can learn more about servicing and recycling your battery by visiting www.apple.com/hk/en/batteries/service-and-recycling.

Does Apple offer recycling?

Yes. Apple Trade In lets you recycle any Apple device (including devices from Apple-owned brands) at any Apple Store and on apple.com for free. That includes your batteries and old electronic products as well as free, on-demand packaging recycling for our commercial, education, and institutional customers. When we receive your device it will be thoroughly inspected to determine if components can be recycled or reused. Whether recycled or reused all activities relating to the processing of your device will be managed in an environmentally responsible way. And end-of-life iPhones will be sent to our disassembly robot, Daisy, the most innovative and efficient way to reclaim more of the valuable materials stored in iPhone.

Does Apple set standards for environmental protection and worker rights in its supply chain?

The Apple Supplier Code of Conduct outlines the high standards our suppliers must meet for labor and human rights, health and safety, and environmental protections. We demand that all suppliers doing business with Apple affirmatively agree to adhere to our Code of Conduct and supporting standards. To enforce the code, we conduct a rigorous assessment process reviewing over 500 data points. When a violation of our code is identified, we partner with our suppliers to help them improve and meet our standards. To learn more, visit our Supplier Responsibility website.

Does Apple work with environmental NGOs or other partners?

We work with many partners. On our climate change efforts, we work with organizations including Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), RE100, and We Mean Business. Our work on creating circular material supply chains is supported by our memberships with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative. We’re also members of the Green America’s Clean Electronics Production Network and the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3). For more information on our partnerships, read the 2019 Environmental Responsibility Report (PDF).