Can we stop pretending that some green slideshow and some recycled gold make the new iPhone in any way sustainable?
As the dust settles at another Apple launch event, I can’t help but wonder when tech companies will wake up and realize that plastic-free packaging and some recycled materials don’t make them or their products good for the planet. Sure, every little bit helps, and small actions by big companies like Apple make a big difference. But let’s take it seriously for a second here. If Apple really cared about sustainability and the environment, it wouldn’t take a group of people to a virtual launch event, and the new iPhone 14 will not exist.
why? Because No launch event + No new iPhone = No environmental impact. It’s that easy.
Apple estimates that each iPhone 14 will emit 61 kg of carbon emissions over its lifetime. Of these emissions, 79% are generated during the production process. It doesn’t matter how environmentally friendly charging is or whether you charge your phone using solar and wind energy; 79% of the carbon emissions will come from the iPhone 14 before you hold it in your hand. You can see these hues for yourself on the beauty and vibrant green’environmentPage” from the Apple website.
To most people, 61kg of carbon dioxide may not seem like much. But as Apple itself says, they produce millions of units, so the numbers are piling up quickly. In fact, Apple’s total emissions (without carbon offsets) totaled 23.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide for the year 2021 (note the shift from kilograms to tons). Of those emissions, nearly 70% came directly from the manufacturer of what were then considered Apple’s newest and greatest products.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying we shouldn’t have new technology or that Apple shouldn’t release a better iPhone. What I’m saying is, if Apple really wanted to reduce its carbon footprint, it would have held off on releasing a bunch of new devices, most of which offer only a marginal improvement over the previous generation. The iPhone 14 in particular is one of the smallest year-over-year iPhone upgrades since its launch, if not The The smallest one so far. Even then, people who own a perfectly good iPhone 11s, 12s, and 13s will view the iPhone 14 as something worth an upgrade, simply because of the increased number on the label. Not releasing the iPhone 14 would give a stronger message: Your iPhone 13 is perfectly fine for at least another year, and there’s nothing they can add to what’s still a great product.
Even better, if Apple really wants to reduce its carbon footprint, how about releasing hardware that can be upgraded without having to replace or recycle each time? It wouldn’t spoil the lack of air travel around the world either, as hands-on events can go after the local event while the keynote speech remains virtual with its beautiful production.
“But what about all the good things Apple is doing for the environment, like investing in decarbonization and using renewable energy to power its offices?”
As far as environmental initiatives go, Apple is definitely at least one of the tech companies It seems to try to offset some of its environmental impacts. As a company, they claim to be carbon neutral since 2020, and by 2030, they hope all of their products will be, too. If you want me to clap and praise Apple for what a company of its size and influence has done should As a minimum for the environment, I’m sorry to disappoint you.
I’m sure there are already people in the comments waiting to tell me how stupid I am and that I’d better not use a file smart phone Or leave any impact on the environment myself other than that, I’m just a hypocrite.
And maybe I do because I like technology, I like new things, and I like to buy things. But I at least recognize and acknowledge that my consumer descent is where I have the greatest impact on the environment; Not the fact that I chose to buy a phone made with 100% recycled gold wire in its camera or a laptop that shipped with responsible packaging. It’s nice to have this stuff, but it doesn’t solve the bigger problem.
Until the manufacturing of the new iPhone becomes a carbon-neutral process, the most sustainable phone is still the one in your pocket, and Apple is well aware of that.