All metals are to be sourced from recycled sources
Apple has pledged to only use recycled cobalt in batteries by 2025 along with recycled rare earth elements in magnets, and recycled tin and gold in circuit boards.
Apple currently sources most of its aluminium, rare earth elements, and nearly all tungsten from recycled material.
“Our ambition is to use 100 per cent recycled and renewable materials and our goal is to have carbon-neutral products by 2030,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives.
“We’re working toward both goals with urgency and advancing innovation across our entire industry”
In 2019 Apple was named in a US lawsuit over child deaths in Congo cobalt mines. There is huge controversy about child labour used to extract cobalt from open mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo which has most of the world’s supply of cobalt.
Tom Williams co-founder of tech refurbishment company Spring said the Apple announcement was “an important first step but more must still be done to reach a truly circular and sustainable consumer tech economy”.
“Using recycled components is a critical stage in creating a circular economy. But this announcement should only be the beginning. If Apple is serious about its net-zero by 2030 targets. other less-known materials need to be sourced sustainably too such as neodymium and europium, both important for touchscreens.
“Unless all finite resources are sourced sustainably, the consumer tech industry won’t be able to exist in the future. We hope that this is a wake-up call for other brands such as Samsung and Google. Apple accounts for less than a quarter of the total global market share. Without industry-wide commitments fully sustainable consumption isn’t realistic”