Scientists agree that collective action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is critical to ending global warming and preventing the catastrophe that could result.
This has prompted many countries, companies and institutions to work to shift their investments to renewable energy sources, and to research how to change the patterns of manufacturing and production processes, in line with achieving the goal of reaching "zero carbon emissions".
Carbon dioxide is one of the most important greenhouse gases emitted from industrial activities and processes, as the increase in human activities in the sectors of industry, transport and energy production, since the mid-nineteenth century, and the resulting dependence on the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas, has increased the concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which led to a rise in the planet's temperature, and an imbalance in weather patterns.
Apple's first carbon-neutral product
When talking about reducing carbon dioxide levels, Apple stands out as one of the most environmentally friendly technology companies, working hard since 2020 to reach the goal of "zero carbon emissions", across its entire business, manufacturing chain, and product life cycle by 2030.
Although Apple's roadmap aims to make all its operations carbon-neutral in 2030, in the last quarter of 2023, with a very advanced environmental step, it was able to launch its first carbon-neutral products, and we are talking here about the new lineup of Apple Watch that was launched this year.
Apple's first carbon-neutral products include all Apple Watch models launched in 2023, which include the S9, SE and Ultra 2, stringent environmental standards in terms of reducing "product carbon" emissions by 75 percent, while the company will resort to innovative solutions to remove the remaining 25 percent of the carbon footprint.
Alan Al-Qarih, an analyst and writer specialized in technology and artificial intelligence, said in an interview with the "Economy of Sky News Arabia" website that at a time when the world is going through exceptional circumstances, due to the risks resulting from global warming, Apple has begun to move urgently in order to reduce the emissions of "carbon products", which are exported during the manufacturing process, by addressing the three largest sources of them, which are the electricity used in the manufacture of devices, and raw materials for manufacturing, in addition to the process of transferring these products to markets.
He pointed out that this method enabled Apple to reduce the amount of carbon emissions resulting from the process of manufacturing a single wristwatch from 36.7 kg previously to 8.1 kg currently, and this made the 2023 Apple Watch lineup carbon-neutral and environmentally friendly.
Clean energy and fishing
net lines Al-Qarih explains that the electricity used in the process of manufacturing Apple Watch watches is the largest source of carbon emissions from this product, and to address this problem, Apple has committed to investing in large-scale projects for solar and wind energy, so that all production lines of the new generation of Apple Watch watches are supported by 100 percent clean energy.
To continue efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its watches, Apple stopped using leather, and replaced it with knitted cotton fabric, similar to suede and made with 68 percent of the content recycled after consumption, pointing out that one of the straps used in the new Apple Watches was made of fishing net threads, which are disposed of by fishermen, while the watch packaging was made of 100 percent recycled wood fibers.
According to Al-Qarih, many of the raw materials used in the process of making new Apple watches include remanufactured materials, for example, the cobalt used in the watch battery, was 100 percent recycled, pointing out that Apple also addressed the problem of carbon emissions, issued by the process of transporting its new watches to world markets, so it committed to transporting 50 percent of the production of these watches, through the means of charging the least carbon-generating such as shipping by sea, where studies show that shipping the same products via ships in the oceans, It results in 95 percent fewer emissions than airfreight.
In turn, technology and marketing specialist George Dagher praised the role played by Apple in the field of preserving the environment, especially that the company, in order to make its product "carbon neutral", changed the traditional concept of product making processes, including the stage of manufacturing, packaging and shipping, and this is not an easy decision, but rather needs an integrated team to ensure that nothing goes wrong, as we are talking about a product that has great popularity in the markets, the Apple Watch is the best-selling smart watch in the world, so Apple's move had a great impact on the markets, and on competing companies, considering that at a time when extreme weather phenomena are increasing, such as hurricanes, droughts, floods, and other risks surrounding the global climate, we see that Apple has adopted a strict approach to try to save the planet.
Dagher pointed out that there are 8.1 kg of carbon emissions, which Apple was unable to mitigate during the manufacturing process of its new watch, and to compensate for that, it decided to invest in high-quality "carbon credits", working to restore grasslands, wetlands and forests, noting that "carbon credits" are a set of activities, which will help reduce carbon emissions in the atmosphere, such as planting trees and land reclamation, where dozens of companies and non-profit organizations are developing such projects, to deliberately Companies that are unable to reduce emissions in their businesses should buy these carbon credits from these companies to finance their projects.
The dilemma of the carbon footprint of the iPhone According to Dagher, Apple, through the launch of its first carbon-neutral products, is on track to achieve its environmental promise, which aims to make all its operations carbon-neutral in 2030, but the device that will actually determine its success in this path is its main product, the iPhone
Although the company has reduced the carbon footprint of the iPhone 15 Pro by about 30 percent, compared to the baseline it set by relying on recycled materials, such as copper foil in the charger and gold in the USB-C connector to cobalt in its battery, Apple must make greater efforts to make the manufacturing process of its famous phone more environmentally friendly, at a time when experts believe that getting rid of the carbon footprint of the iPhone is intractable.