Imagination Could See Lower Royalties from Apple as Contract Winds Down

Bruno Cirelli
Aprile 21, 2017

According to Apple's 2017 Environment Responsibility Report released today, the company's latest environmental initiative will see it "stop mining the earth altogether". It is using the melted aluminum to make Mac mini computers to be used in its factories.

Apple said it needs a higher grade than can be provided by standard recycling plants, and therefore can only get it from turning over its own products.

While nothing is written in stone yet and we're working on best guesses based on hints and leaks from Apple's supply chain, there's growing confidence we have a good idea of what the iPhone 8 will look like.

Apple also hopes to use only renewable energy in all its facilities, including stores and factories - it's now at 96% renewable usage - as well as encouraging its supply chain to only use renewable energy and ensure all its products are supplied in 100% recycled paper packaging.

As a result, Apple has been using recycled tin for its iPhone 6s. Greenpeace pointed out that it also wants Cupertino to make products that are easier to fix and last longer.

On top of its recycled material goals for products, Cupertino also says it has managed to use 99% recycled and responsibly sourced paper in its packaging, and is hoping to move towards 100%. Last year, Apple sold 78.3 million iPhone 7 and 7 Plus units, so racking up over 80 million sales for its highly hyped upcoming iPhones is an actual possibility.

Apple is not the only company whose fate depends on the iPhone.

Apple Inc.'s vice president of policy, environment, and social initiatives, Lisa Jackson, noted that the tech giant is actually doing something it rarely does, which is announce a goal before it has fully figured out how to achieve it.

Separately, Apple has made inroads in reducing its reliance on conflict minerals - raw materials such as tungsten, tantalum, and gold that originate from the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and adjacent countries. Other environmental milestones are also outlined in Apple's report.

In total, seven of Apple's major suppliers have pledged to produce Apple products using renewable energy alone by the end of next year (Apple declined to release its total number of suppliers). We already have programs in place to ensure the finite materials we use in our products are sourced responsibly through strict standards and programs on the ground that drive positive change.

Because of this, Apple won't be taking a "right to repair" approach to meeting its environmental goals.

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