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In September, shortly after the iPhone launch, Lisa Jackson, Apple's Vice President Environmental Initiatives, spoke during the VERGE conference organized by GreenBiz, an event dedicated to "green" technologies and green-oriented business management.
In a video recorded then but discovered only now by AppleInsider, the manager of the multinational company in Cupertino talks about Apple's desire to reduce carbon dioxide emissions with new industrial production models through which it is no longer necessary to produce CO2 emissions. The iPhone 8 and iPhone X form factors, for example, share a design with glass layers for the rear body and the matching aluminum frame. The melting of aluminum is a procedure for which industrial plants that produce emissions are typically required, but Apple managed to reduce the impact of this process by resorting to special precautions in design, but also by using renewable technologies.
a combination – explained Jackson – which provides for the removal of any aluminum waste and the reuse of the same in the casting for the creation of the body, as well as the use of melting mechanisms with water supply, fundamental in determining the " carbon footprint ”(a parameter that is used to estimate the greenhouse gas emissions generated by a product or service) of aluminum. The aluminum of the iPhone 8 emits 11% less greenhouse gases than the iPhone 7 and 83% less emissions than the iPhone 6.
Apple combines data on production, use, transport and recycling with those relating to greenhouse gas emissions. The latter are based on manufacturer-specific data and industry average values for materials, production processes, electricity and transportation. The LCA (life cycle assessment) procedures combines the specific data of a specific product with the data on emissions, allowing to calculate the actual greenhouse gas emissions associated with that product.
Some observations of Jackson concern Apple's great attention also in the packaging. This year's carbon footprint for the packaging of iPhone 8 and iPhone X, mainly attributable to plastic, has been reduced by more than 50% compared to iPhone 7. The reduction is the result of a smaller box design and the use of suppliers who use responsibly managed materials for packaging (recycled paper, bamboo and sugar cane waste).
The Cupertino manager spoke again of Apple's goal of creating an entire closed-loop supply chain: one day to be able to build new products using only recycled materials, starting from old devices. The company is not yet able to say when everything will be possible, but Jackson other times explained that the people involved in these searches are more committed than ever to achieving the goal.