Apple to buy carbon-free aluminum for iPhone SE

Apple revealed that it will buy its first industrial-size batch of carbon-free aluminum to use in its low-cost iPhone SE as part of its strategy to reduce carbon footprint from the metal it uses heavily in product casings.
Apple iphone 12 5G smartphone in SingaporeDetails about the size or cost of the purchase were not disclosed.

The iPhone maker has been taking steps to reduce its use of the carbon-intensive metal that emits direct greenhouse gases from the smelting process and has spiked consumer, activist and investor dissent due to its environmental impact.

Apple first bought a smaller batch of the lab-made metal in 2019 from Elysis, a Montreal-based joint venture between two of the world’s biggest aluminum suppliers – Alcoa and Rio Tinto. It had used the metal in its 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Elysis had originally planned to commercialize its technology, which uses a ceramic anode to make aluminum and emits only oxygen, by 2024.

Apple will use its $4.7 billion investments in green bonds to jump-start the development of new low-carbon manufacturing and recycling technologies.

Since 2016, Apple has issued three Green Bonds aimed to accelerate progress toward the company’s goal to become carbon neutral across its supply chain by 2030.

“Our investments are advancing the breakthrough technologies needed to reduce the carbon footprint of the materials we use, even as we move to using only recyclable and renewable materials across our products to conserve the earth’s finite resources,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives, said.

Apple has also made significant progress in reducing the carbon impact of aluminium and other metals found in its products. By switching to recycled aluminium and aluminium smelted using hydroelectricity instead of fossil fuels, Apple’s carbon emissions associated with aluminium have decreased by nearly 70 per cent since 2015.

Apple makes every model in the iPad lineup, including the new iPad Air, along with the latest MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini, and Apple Watch, with 100 percent recycled aluminium enclosure.