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Apple to manufacture iPhone SE with carbon-free aluminium

Apple raised $4.7 billion in Green Bonds to kickstart the development of low-carbon manufacturing and recycling technologies.

The aluminium will be manufactured at industrial scale outside the laboratory without any direct carbon emissions during smelting. (Apple)
The aluminium will be manufactured at industrial scale outside the laboratory without any direct carbon emissions during smelting. (Apple)

Apple plans to use carbon-free aluminium to manufacture the iPhone SE.

Apple raised $4.7 billion in Green Bonds to kickstart the development of low-carbon manufacturing and recycling technologies. Carbon-free aluminium reduces emissions during smelting. The Cupertino-based tech giant has already stopped shipping power adaptors inside phone boxes to reduce carbon footprint.

“Apple has issued three Green Bonds since 2016, with projects showcasing how the investments can reduce global emissions and bring clean power to communities around the world,” Apple said in a blog post.

The aluminium will be manufactured at industrial scale outside the laboratory without any direct carbon emissions during smelting.

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“As part of this work, Apple is purchasing direct carbon-free aluminium following a major advancement in smelting technology to reduce emissions.”

Lisa Jackson, Vice President of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives, said: “Apple is committed to leaving the planet better than we found it, and our Green Bonds are a key tool to drive our environmental efforts forward.”

Elysis, which was behind the first direct carbon-free aluminium smelting process, announced production of the first commercial-purity primary aluminium at industrial scale for Apple products.

The technology, instead of producing greenhouse gases, produces oxygen. Apple will purchase the first batch of commercial-purity, low-carbon aluminium for the iPhone SE.

Apple helped this technological advancement through a partnership with Rio Tinto, Alcoa, and the governments of Quebec and Canada in 2018. In 2019, Apple bought the first-ever commercial batch of aluminium from the joint venture and used it to manufacture the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

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Every iPad model, including the new iPad Air, and the latest MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Apple Watch, are made with 100% recycled aluminium enclosure.

“In total, Apple has issued $4.7 billion to accelerate progress toward the company’s goal to become carbon neutral across its supply chain by 2030. Its first two bonds in 2016 and 2017 are now fully allocated. The 2019 Green Bond is supporting 50 projects, including the low-carbon aluminium breakthrough. These 50 projects will mitigate or offset 2,883,000 metric tons of CO2e, install nearly 700 megawatts of renewable energy capacity around the world, and promote new recycling research and development,” Apple said.

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“More than 175 manufacturing partners across 24 countries have now committed to using 100 percent renewable energy for Apple production, a critical milestone toward ensuring every Apple product has a net-zero climate impact.”

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