This is my personal blog

Apple is Carbon Neutral, but not for thee

Apple has a plan for the environment, becoming Carbon Neutral by 2030. Noble, truly. But it isn’t for everyone. It’s only for the Developed Nations at the moment and for the forseeable future.

In Apple’s September 2022 event, they mention using recycled rare earth materials, etc. (1:26:17) for the latest devices announced that day. This has been happening for a while now.

They have mentioned about recycling entire devices during past events. And they really want us to, so we can all contribute towards a carbon neutral Apple. But that us does not include me, and it does not include the majority of the world’s population.

Apple’s recycling program has been available for a few years now. It’s a great initiative. But for those of us living in developing nations, rich or poor, Apple doesn’t really seem to care what goes into our landfills.

I have a few iPhones, an Apple Watch, and an iPad ready to go into Apple’s recycling program, with or without receiving credit for these. I want to participate in this program, but the company that markets itself as the one who cares for the environment, does not seem to care for mine.

And Apple isn’t the only company who presents itself with a holier than thou image. A friend recently shared Wall Street Journal article with me, Companies Are Buying Large Numbers of Carbon Offsets That Don’t Cut Emissions. Reading it filled me with rage like no other.

Having witnessed images and videos from the recent floods around Asia, Apple’s plans are going to fall short. And it’s not just Apple, but they are setting the precedent for other large technology companies to follow. So until the rest of us can start recyling our devices safely, with or without Apple’s program, I am highly skeptical of Apple’s Carbon Neutral by 2030 plan and their statements about caring for the planet and the environment.

We consider our impact on people and the planet in everything we do. And we continue to ask ourselves how we can make our work an even greater force for good in the world. - Lisa Jackson, Vice President, Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Apple

So allow me to make some minor corrections to the above statement:

  • some people
  • some places on the planet
  • …even greater force for good in the world for some people