Curated congratulate Apple on their carbon neutral achievements

Apple's carbon-neutral Apple Watch highlights tech's net zero push. Similarly, 'Curated Zero' champions sustainable investing, merging returns with climate action.

14 September 2023

In their keynote speech on Tuesday, Apple dedicated a sizable chunk of time to explaining their progress towards achieving carbon neutrality, announcing that their first fully carbon neutral product in their aim for net zero by 2030 will be the Apple Watch range.

They sold 53.9 million Apple Watches in 2022 and have sold 229.3 million since launching the product in 2015, so it is a remarkable achievement to produce a high volume consumer product that's completely carbon neutral.

Apple accomplishes sustainability in their watch production through “innovations in materials, clean electricity, and low-carbon shipping”, while investments in nature-based projects such as carbon offsetting counterbalance the remaining 22% of carbon emissions.

At Curated we recognise the importance of reaching net zero as soon as possible and are doing our part, through Curated Zero, to make it easy for others to make investment portfolios carbon neutral by using high quality portfolios of carbon offsets using exchanges like ReSeed and Coorest.

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), where Curated Capital is proudly based, has also been at the forefront of the carbon neutrality movement. Not only has ADGM partnered with AirCarbon Exchange to launch the world's first fully regulated carbon trading exchange and carbon clearing house, but it has also set a precedent by becoming the world's first international financial centre to achieve carbon neutrality. This monumental achievement was realized in January 2022 when ADGM offset its carbon emissions for the entire year of 2021. Such endeavors resonate with Curated Capital's mission through Curated Zero, as both institutions strive for a sustainable future, emphasizing the importance of carbon neutrality in the financial sector.

Curated applaud Apple’s efforts in tackling the challenges associated with reducing emissions and see it as a hugely encouraging sign that a company of their stature is also putting its shoulder behind carbon neutral products.

The 2023 Apple Watch models are now made with over 30% recycled materials, powered by 100% clean energy and over 50% will be shipped to customers without aeroplanes.

Source: Apple

Apple’s journey is significant given the company’s dominance in the tech industry, one that is responsible for producing between two to three percent of global carbon emissions in 2021, according to the UN’s Environment Programme.

In 2021, Apple emitted 1,058,446 metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere. An investigation by Electronics Hub found this volume is equivalent to the launches of 3,528 SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets, or the annual emissions of 35 commercial airliners according to Nature.

As a leading member of the ‘Big Five’, tech companies including Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Microsoft and Meta (Facebook), Apple’s movement towards carbon neutrality is a significant advancement in bringing the industry into line with necessary emissions reductions required by the Paris Climate Agreement and to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

It is particularly impressive when compared to the performance of other rival companies such as Microsoft, whose emissions grew by 29% from 2017 to 2021 according to a 2022 report by Tech Monitor.

Apple’s approach to zero carbon production is a multifaceted one. One of its striking features is the Restore Fund, launched in 2021, which is forecast to remove over one million metric tons of carbon from 2025. The company has invested $200 million in three high-quality forestry projects in Brazil and Paraguay – two of the most heavily deforested nations on earth – to “restore 150,000 acres of certified sustainable working forests” and to protect over “100,000 acres of native forests, grasslands and wetlands.”

Aside from using carbon offsets, in 2022 Apple managed to ensure 20% of all materials shipped to consumers across the world came from either recycled materials or renewable sources.

Their Supplier Clean Energy Program ensures that the companies that supply Apple are already engaged in the transition to energy solely generated through “solar, wind, and other renewable sources”, given the electricity used by their manufacturing suppliers makes up the majority of their carbon footprint.

They aim to make every product with only clean energy by 2030, and currently over 300 energy suppliers, making up more than 90% of Apple’s direct manufacturing spend, are committed to using 100% renewable electricity by 2030. Currently, all Apple retail stores source 100% of their electricity from renewable sources.

One of the more standout areas of Apple’s move to net zero is their reduction in shipping by air. They have achieved a 95% reduction in emissions from shipping with their Mac mini for example, by switching to less carbon-intensive methods like train, ocean shipping, and electric vehicles.

Finally, Apple’s progress in designing products that run on less energy – for which they earned an ENERGY STAR® rating for superior energy efficiency – and are made to be completely recyclable, rounds off their drive for net zero. And it does so in a fashion that sets a true example to the tech industry, piling pressure on competitors to take their own sustainability policies seriously.

"Apple's commitment to carbon neutrality, especially with a product as popular as the Apple Watch, is truly commendable and sets a benchmark for the tech industry. At Curated, we share a similar vision and passion for a sustainable future. Through our Curated Zero initiative, we're empowering investors to make a tangible difference by aligning their portfolios with carbon-neutral objectives. Just as Apple is leading the way in tech sustainability, we aim to be at the forefront of sustainable investing, ensuring that our clients not only see returns on their investments but also contribute positively to our planet."

— James Minns, Senior Executive Officer of Curated Capital

To find out more about Curated Zero or the companies that Curated is representing, please feel free to get in touch or book a meeting with us.

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