Apple’s annual product launches are always a spectacle, eagerly anticipated by tech enthusiasts around the world. This year was no different, with the tech giant unveiling its iPhone 15 series, the Apple Watch Ultra 2, and the Apple Watch Series 9. But beyond the improved cameras, high-quality screens, and the switch to USB-C, there was a deeper, more profound message: Apple’s unwavering commitment to environmental responsibility.
While the double-tap feature on the Apple Watch garnered attention, the real game-changer was Apple’s strides towards sustainability. The company announced its intention to use 100% recycled cobalt in all Apple-designed batteries by 2025. Considering the dark history of cobalt mining in Congo, where children as young as three are forced into the dangerous world of mining, this move is monumental. By focusing on recycling this precious metal, Apple is not only reducing its environmental footprint but also potentially transforming an exploitative industry.
Apple’s commitment doesn’t stop at cobalt. The company has been vocal about its goal to bring its entire carbon footprint to zero by 2030. A significant step towards this is the introduction of Apple’s first carbon-neutral products. The Apple Watch 9, when paired with specific configurations, boasts this impressive title. Even the premium Apple Watch Ultra, crafted with titanium, joins the ranks when paired with a woven band.
Apple’s green initiatives are comprehensive. The company is phasing out plastics from its packaging and has set an ambitious target to achieve this by the end of next year. Leather, a staple in luxury tech accessories, is also being phased out in favor of more sustainable alternatives. This commitment even influenced luxury brand Hermès to develop fabric-based watch straps for Apple, a testament to Apple’s influence in driving industry-wide change.
Apple’s environmental responsibility extends to its operations. Every Apple office, store, and data center runs on clean electricity. By shifting more product shipments from air to ocean, Apple has slashed transportation emissions by a staggering 95%. Furthermore, Apple’s initiatives in restoring forests, grasslands, and mangroves worldwide aim to permanently remove carbon from the atmosphere.
The “Mother Nature” video, featuring Octavia Spencer, humorously yet poignantly highlighted the company’s environmental efforts. While some may have found the skit cringeworthy, its underlying message was clear: Apple’s green initiatives are genuine, impactful, and here to stay.
A few years ago I had been invited to be at the School of Marketing at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi. The subject of my talk was “Building a Sustainable brand.”
I discussed the rise of purpose brands - companies that stand for more than just profit. Apple exemplifies this, proving that it’s not just about groundbreaking tech; it’s about pioneering a sustainable future. As consumers, it’s heartening to see a tech giant take significant strides in environmental responsibility, setting a precedent for others to follow.
Oh and Double Tap is Super Cool !!