The Apple Watch Series 9 is the company’s first line of carbon neutral products, and the first to use entirely fibre-based packaging.
As part of its carbon neutral ambitions, Apple intends that all of its packaging will be plastic-free by 2025. This means substituting plastic with sustainable, fibre-based packaging, starting with the new Apple Watch and band lineup.
The company has announced that the total emissions of the Apple Watch have been reduced by over 75%. This has been achieved through a strict production criteria: the manufacturing process uses 100% clean electricity; 30% of the materials are recycled or renewable (by weight), and 50% of shipping is completed without air transportation. Carbon neutrality is apparently achieved by offsetting the remaining 25% through carbon credits.
Apple’s global corporate operations are already carbon neutral, but the company announced in 2020 that it intends to be carbon neutral across its entire business, manufacturing supply chain and product life cycle by 2030.
Alongside the fibre-based packaging, Apple has taken other steps towards reducing its environmental impact and becoming carbon neutral. These include ending the use of leather across all product lines and expanding the use of recycled materials in iPhones.
Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, said: “At Apple, we have a longstanding and proven commitment to leading the fight against climate change. Our focus on renewable energy and low-carbon design has already driven industry-leading emissions reductions, and we’re not slowing down,”
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“We’ve achieved an important milestone in making the world’s most popular watch carbon neutral — and we will keep innovating to meet the urgency of the moment.”
Filings made by Apple reveal an increasing concern around the company’s environmental impact. In particular, there was a shift in 2020, as Apple pledged to become carbon neutral within the decade.
All terms have consistently increased in frequency, including ‘material’ which has more than tripled in mentions between 2017 and 2022. The company has sought to move towards more sustainable materials in its products and packaging, resulting in the fibre-based design which is now packaging the recently-released Apple Watch lineup.
The packaging used for the new iPhone 15 models is also over 99% fibre-based, as Apple continues to phase out plastic ahead of its 2025 target.
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