Apple is making big promises in terms of “greening” its products, with the company pledging to eventually end the need for mined minerals and rely only on recycled materials for its devices. While that sounds like a very big step forward, the company admitted it doesn’t yet have a viable plan to achieve this promise.
In its latest Environmental Responsibility Report the iPhone-maker touted and sustainable products. The company is already running all of its data centers fully off of renewable sources, and it plans to bring a total of 4 Gigawatts of renewable energy online by 2020.
Outside of renewable energy the company also focused on so-called conflict minerals like gold, tantalum, tungsten, tin, and other elements that are indispensable for the modern tech industry, but are usually marred in human rights abuses and disastrous environmental exploitation. Apple said it will eventually no longer need to buy newly-mined materials.
The company highlighted its efforts to reduce the need for such mined minerals, through recycling older devices and redesigning products to use fewer resources. However, its executives admitted they’re still a long way from using 100% recycled materials and there’s no clear timeframe in place for reaching that goal.
Still, environmental awareness and the focus on renewable energy has been driving the tech sector forward in recent years, not only because it’s good for the planet and us humans, but also because in most cases these approaches prove to be financially beneficial to the companies themselves. So we’ll no doubt continue to see companies, including Apple, make efforts in these areas.