Apple to invest $4.7 billion in low carbon manufacturing

Apple may kick-start the development of new low-carbon manufacturing and recycling technologies with the support of $4.7 billion in green bond investments.


Apple, the world’s largest technology corporation, revealed on Thursday that it will employ the world’s first low-carbon aluminium in the iPhone SE. Apple stated in a statement that $4.7 billion in green bond investments might help jump-start the development of innovative low-carbon manufacturing and recycling technologies.

Apple has issued three Green Bonds since 2016, with the objective of accelerating progress toward the company’s goal of becoming carbon neutral across its supply chain by 2030. As part of this effort, Apple said that it will purchase direct carbon-free aluminium from ELYSIS, a firm located in Canada that developed the world’s first direct carbon-free aluminium smelting technology.

Aluminium is the first metal to be produced on a large scale outside of a laboratory without emitting any direct carbon emissions during the smelting process. The breakthrough method generates oxygen rather than greenhouse gases, and the result represents a significant milestone in the manufacture of aluminium, one of the world’s most commonly used metals.

Apple stated that the hydropower-produced material will be used in the iPhone SE. “Apple is committed to leaving the planet better than we found it, and our Green Bonds are a key tool to drive our environmental efforts forward,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives, in a statement.

“Our investments are advancing the breakthrough technologies needed to reduce the carbon footprint of the materials we use, even as we move to use only recyclable and renewable materials across our products to conserve the earth’s finite resources,” she added.

Apple sparked this breakthrough improvement in aluminium manufacturing through an investment collaboration that began in 2018 with Alcoa, Rio Tinto, and the governments of Canada and Quebec. The following year, Apple acquired the joint venture’s first commercial batch of aluminium, which is used in the construction of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. Alcoa and Rio Tinto have joined together to form ELYSIS.

Apple has also made great strides in lowering the carbon footprint of aluminium and other metals used in its products. Since 2015, the company’s carbon emissions related to aluminium have been reduced by roughly 70% by converting to recycled aluminium and aluminium smelted using hydroelectricity instead of fossil fuels. According to the firm, every model in the iPad series, including the new iPad Air, as well as the current MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini, and Apple Watch, are constructed with a 100 percent recycled aluminium exterior.

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