Apple's 2018 Environmental Responsibility Report zeroes in on renewable energy, takes flak...

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Apple on Thursday published its 2018 Environmental Responsibility Report, with an emphasis on its recent renewable energy achievements and plans to push them further. Greenpeace, however, took the opportunity to slam the company's efforts, saying it should be focusing on other issues.

Apple solar farm


Above all, the company highlights its recent achievement of making all of its first-party operations -- including offices, stores, and data centers -- powered by clean, renewable sources. These include investments in solar and wind power, among the former being solar farms and rooftop panels lining places like Apple Park.

"But this is just the beginning of how we're reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change," Apple writes. "We're continuing to go further than most companies in measuring our carbon footprint, including manufacturing and product use. And we're making great progress in those areas too."

To push its energy efforts forward, the company is planning to "explore new markets," as well as spend on energy storage. Storage is a critical component of green energy, since solar and wind are prone to weather interruptions.

The report also touts the energy efficiency of recent products, for instance claiming that the HomePod uses less energy than an LED bulb, and that the latest MacBook Pros consume 61 percent less power than even the previous generation. Packaging has been made smaller and lighter, in theory reducing the fuel needed for logistics.

These benefits also boost Apple's profits, however, since it can spend less on packaging and bigger batteries.

Earlier today the company introduced a new iPhone recycling robot, Daisy. In reaction to that and the Environmental Responsibility Report, activist organization Greenpeace has released a statement arguing that the company would do better to make its products easier to upgrade and repair. The demand is there, it said, pointing to the intense demand for replacement iPhone batteries.

Apple in fact brags about device longevity in the report, but in recent times the company has been criticized for so tightly integrating and compacting its designs that even professional repair outfits can't upgrade them. The recent iPhone throttling controversy has spawned a multitude of lawsuits and government investigations, in some cases accusing Apple of planned obsolescence.

Greenpeace did thank Apple for cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions, specifically contrasting it with Samsung Electronics, which allegedly powers operations with just one percent renewable energy.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    In order to make things thinner Apple do things like gluing components together. Would it be possible (or even interesting to Apple's designers) to design a new set of fasteners/adhesives that enable things to come apart easily without adding additional thickness?
    minicoffeewatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 35
    HeliBumHeliBum Posts: 58member
    Greenpeace won't be happy until we go back to only face-to-face oral communications.
    cornchipmacseekerchristophbwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 35
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,035member
    How about a link to what Greenpeace actually stated?  If they are actually “slamming” Apple, they are more whacked out than I thought.   
    watto_cobrajony0SpamSandwich
  • Reply 4 of 35
    ktappektappe Posts: 763member
    Greenpeace can be a PITA but in this case they have a point. Has anyone here tried to take apart/repair a recent Apple product? Far too difficult and too much use of glue and adhesives instead of removable fasteners. Apple does prioritize making things thinner instead of making them repairable or recyclable. 
    minicoffeemuthuk_vanalingam[Deleted User]xzu
  • Reply 5 of 35
    stompystompy Posts: 334member
    Greenpeace takes every opportunity to promote itself, no surprises there. They did much the same thing when Apple showed off the Liam robot.

    https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/slideshows/tech-life/apples-robot-liam-rips-apart-iphones-for-recycling/greenpeace-welcomes-initiative/slideshow/51508488.cms

    The only difference in their response is that the rhetoric has been refined.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 35
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,059member
    HeliBum said:
    Greenpeace won't be happy until we go back to only face-to-face oral communications.
    That won't be enough. They are professionally unhappy so even then they will find a gripe.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 35
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,040moderator
    mattinoz said:
    HeliBum said:
    Greenpeace won't be happy until we go back to only face-to-face oral communications.
    That won't be enough. They are professionally unhappy so even then they will find a gripe.
    But they’ll have to come tell each of us about it in person. Lol
    cornchipmattinozwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 8 of 35
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,040moderator
    We're continuing to go further than most companies in measuring our carbon footprint, including manufacturing and product use.”

    This is what I often speak about.  I’d love to see a benchmark series that addresses compute efficiency rather than just simply how long between charging on disparate devices with different size batteries, screens, etc.  because I think Apple thinks a lot about this and others, not so much. 
    StrangeDayswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 9 of 35
    ascii said:
    In order to make things thinner Apple do things like gluing components together. Would it be possible (or even interesting to Apple's designers) to design a new set of fasteners/adhesives that enable things to come apart easily without adding additional thickness?
    Isn't it counter to the idea of glueing things together to provide contact and rigidity with minimal amount of material used? 
    That is why the best driving and handling cars use ADHESIVES, instead of just welding or fasteners that connect different parts of the chassis together into more or less rigid structure..  
    StrangeDaysSpamSandwich
  • Reply 10 of 35
    ktappe said:
    Greenpeace can be a PITA but in this case they have a point. Has anyone here tried to take apart/repair a recent Apple product? Far too difficult and too much use of glue and adhesives instead of removable fasteners. Apple does prioritize making things thinner instead of making them repairable or recyclable. 
    Disagree. Making something easy to repair does not make it easier to recycle! 
    Also, Apple has robots that do the recycling, so I am pretty sure they have covered that part already, unless you wanna recycle the device yourself, which you can't really do since you will be unable to reuse those materials anyway, which kinda is the whole point of recycling!
    StrangeDayswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 11 of 35
    Why is greenpeace still relevant.  They will never be happy even in the face of companies actually making a difference.  Why don’t they bark at someone else.  how much electricity, oil, gas and paper are they wasting by going after whaling ships.  They’re really terrorist, just green ones. 
    watto_cobraSpamSandwich
  • Reply 12 of 35
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Greenpeace
    Who? Oh, right, the guys who desecrated ancient Nazca art and constantly spit in the face of all human accomplishment. Given the history of both parties, I think I’ll care more about what Apple says than a near-terrorist organization.
    edited April 2018 anton zuykovwatto_cobraSpamSandwich
  • Reply 13 of 35
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,800member
    It’s odd to see people claiming Apple’s sole priority is making devices thinner when they have many recent YoY releases that are thicker than the previous year, which means that being “thinner” not only wasn’t a priority, maintaining the same thickness wasn’t either.

    Maybe, just maybe, their priority is engineering the most attractive device to appeal to their consumer base within a specific price range and profit margin that can be manufactured at capacity. Is that such a strange priority?

    edited April 2018 pscooter63StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 35
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 609member
    Greenpeace stopped being an environmental organization some decades ago. Now they are just an international conglomerate looking for publicity and money. I guess donations must have dropped. They seem to attack Apple whenever that happens.
    tallest skilanton zuykovwatto_cobraSpamSandwich
  • Reply 15 of 35
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,457member
    HeliBum said:
    Greenpeace won't be happy until we go back to only face-to-face oral communications.
    Doubt they’ll be happy until the only living humans left on the planet are Greenpeace members and then they’ll Jim Jones themselves.
    watto_cobraSpamSandwich
  • Reply 16 of 35
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,800member
    HeliBum said:
    Greenpeace won't be happy until we go back to only face-to-face oral communications.
    Doubt they’ll be happy until the only living humans left on the planet are Greenpeace members and then they’ll Jim Jones themselves.
    Well the best way to reduce your carbon footprint is to kill yourself, preferably before producing offspring.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 35
    Upgrading is not environmentalism, nor is it green, it's a red herring because new materials must still be mined and the device will still eventually require disposal.

    The problem with understating the benefits of recycling/reuse is that upgrading only marginally lengthens the amount of time before an item becomes landfill and the for item being replaced it is instantly landfill. That's not a solution - that's an incredibly short sighted approach to environmentalism, and completely naive of the rate of change in electronics.

    The goal of recycling and reusing is that eventually we'll reach a point where the supply chain can be satisfied almost entirely by materials harvested from prior devices.
    Soli
  • Reply 18 of 35
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,612member
    ktappe said:
    Greenpeace can be a PITA but in this case they have a point. Has anyone here tried to take apart/repair a recent Apple product? Far too difficult and too much use of glue and adhesives instead of removable fasteners. Apple does prioritize making things thinner instead of making them repairable or recyclable. 
    I disagree.  Apple's electronics today - compared to the competition - are more reliable and last longer than ever.  Most people will NEVER open up a Mac to upgrade it, even with the RAM door in the back of the 27".  Most people will NEVER open up a computer, let along a Mac to repair it.  It's simply easier to pay a repair shop to do it.

    Most people will NEVER open up their iPhones and if/when the day comes to repair it they wouldn't even want to do it themselves, they will pay Apple, or an authorized center to perform the repair.  Most people have way better things to do than spend who knows how many hours of their time to fiddle with sensitive electronics.  Even with the battery-replacement deal they got going on, all those people requesting it still represents a very small minority of total iPhone owners.  Individuals like yourself that desire to do their own repairs represents such a ridiculously small minority.  Apple will not invest in all the engineering to appease a small group of vocal critics.

    That's why Apple uses adhesives in their products and I'm okay with that.  It makes things more rigid, it allows for a better design - whether you like it or not, and I would thing that the adhesives for iPhones in addition to being more rigid, is better suited at maintaining the water-resistance than rubber seals, etc.

    So let it go.  They're not going back to the 90's, nor should they.
    edited April 2018 lowededwookiepscooter63StrangeDayswatto_cobraSpamSandwich
  • Reply 19 of 35
    I have 5 phones around here someplace that I don’t want to throw away due to toxic batteries.  Most people just throws them away...

    We need a place the take them, or a pre-envelope to send them to be recycled.

    Kudos to Apple for being better than everyone else.

    But, Apple’s solution of a few robots doesn’t really solve the problem...

    How about legislate a solution.  Everyone that sells electronics needs a recycling program.  If it’s Amazon etc. they need prepaid envelopes.  If it’s a T-Mobile Store, BestBuy, Walmart etc. they need to accept dropoffs.


  • Reply 20 of 35
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,800member
    I have 5 phones around here someplace that I don’t want to throw away due to toxic batteries.  Most people just throws them away...

    We need a place the take them, or a pre-envelope to send them to be recycled.

    Kudos to Apple for being better than everyone else.

    But, Apple’s solution of a few robots doesn’t really solve the problem...

    How about legislate a solution.  Everyone that sells electronics needs a recycling program.  If it’s Amazon etc. they need prepaid envelopes.  If it’s a T-Mobile Store, BestBuy, Walmart etc. they need to accept dropoffs.
    I thought they all had recycling programs. I seem to remember Greenpeace being on Apple's case about 15 years ago for not accepting old computers for recycling that weren't their own.

    StrangeDays
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