Just before the Earth Day, which falls on April 22, the Cupertino, California-based technology giant released its 2017 environmental responsibility report. In it, the company said 100 percent of the electricity used to power its data centers and 96 percent of the electricity its global facilities used in 2016 came from alternative energy sources including solar, wind and hydro power.
Apple is looking to build on this sustainability achievement by pledging to encourage its entire supply chain to move to 100 percent renewable energy. For a start, the iPhone maker has committed to helping its suppliers generate about four gigawatt of renewable power by 2020. (See also: These Stocks Will Win in Apple iPhone 8 Supercycle)
The company is also working on a “closed-loop supply chain,” which it hopes will help it make new products from 100 percent recycled materials in the future, as opposed to the traditional supply chain trend where materials are mined and used to make products only to end up in landfills.
“We’re challenging ourselves to one day end our reliance on mining altogether. To start, we’re encouraging more customers to recycle their old devices through Apple Renew. And we’re piloting innovative new recycling techniques, like our line of disassembly robots, so we can put reclaimed materials to better use in new products,” the environmental responsibility report said.
As part of this move, Apple said it has melted the iPhone 6 aluminum enclosures that its recycling robot Liam dissembled. Apple had retrieved the iPhone 6’s from an earlier trade-in by users. It is using the melted aluminum to make Mac mini computers to be used in its factories. The company also said it is transitioning to the use of 100 percent recycled tin solder on the mainboard of the iPhone 6s.
Apple is the first big technology company to commit to the use of 100 percent recycled materials.