Apple is among the most environmentally friendly tech companies around, with the company running most of its factories on renewable energy. Now, to celebrate the forthcoming Earth Day, Apple has released in 2017 Environmental Responsibility Report. Among other things, Apple has set itself one major goal in the report: to put an end to mining.
To achieve this goal, Apple says that it is working on a “closed-loop supply chain” that will allow it to stop mining the earth for rare minerals and metals.
Apple still has not figured out completely how to achieve this goal, but the company is doing so because it is really important. It envisions a day where it will be able to create new products with just recycled materials. And this includes older Apple products like iPhones as well.
“We’re actually doing something we rarely do, which is announce a goal before we’ve completely figured out how to do it,” Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives and a former head of the EPA, Lisa Jackson, told VICE News during an exclusive visit to Apple’s environmental testing lab on Monday. “So we’re a little nervous, but we also think it’s really important, because as a sector we believe it’s where technology should be going.
The report from Apple also shows how the company is striving to achieve its goal of running its facilities on renewable energy. For now, 96 percent of its facilities are running on renewable energy, up from 93 percent last year. This includes Apple’s retail stores, corporate offices, and data centres but excludes many of Apple’s third-party suppliers and vendors. That is also changing though, as seven of Apple’s major suppliers have promised to start using renewable energy by the end of next year.
Apple says that it is protecting enough forests in the US and China through its efforts that is enough to “cover all of packaging” costs used in its products. While what Apple has achieved so far is very impressive, its lofty goal of putting an end to mining altogether will probably have the biggest impact of them all. And if the company manages to achieve this goal, other tech companies should really stand up and take notice.