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Apple, a company known for its innovative products, has recently faced scrutiny over its claims of producing carbon-neutral devices. A new report by the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE) raises questions about Apple’s transparency regarding supply chain emissions and the attainment of carbon neutrality in its latest products.
The IPE report emphasizes the necessity for Apple to disclose comprehensive information about its suppliers to substantiate its carbon-neutral claims. This call for transparency comes after Apple’s backtracking on divulging crucial details about its supply chain emissions. This lack of transparency makes it challenging to understand how Apple achieves carbon neutrality in its products.
The report sheds light on a concerning trend: despite a 12% decline in global smartphone shipments in 2022, some of Apple’s suppliers have only marginally reduced their carbon emissions, with some even showing an increase. This raises questions about the effectiveness of Apple’s efforts to reduce emissions in its supply chain.
Achieving carbon neutrality relies heavily on the availability of renewable energy sources. While Apple asserts that a significant portion of its manufacturing electricity is sourced from clean energy for specific products, the report questions the verifiability of this claim due to the lack of disclosure from Apple’s suppliers.
Many companies, including Apple, rely on Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to support clean energy projects. However, the report highlights that the financial incentives associated with RECs may not always be sufficient to drive the necessary expansion of renewable energy sources.
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The report emphasizes the significance of evaluating a company’s overall environmental footprint rather than focusing solely on individual products. Apple’s reported reduction in gross carbon emissions from 38.4 million metric tons in 2015 to 20.6 million metric tons in 2022 is commendable. However, without complete data transparency, it’s challenging to assess the true environmental impact of the company.