During the Keynote on September 12, Apple made a strong emphasis on its commitment to the environment. One of the most attention-grabbing features of the new Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 is that both are the first Apple products to be carbon neutral. However, what does this really mean?
Despite Apple’s laudable goal of reducing its environmental footprint, it is also a somewhat contradictory and unrealistic idea. According to a report by the New Climate Institute, this may be an “exaggeration” on Apple’s part: “It is an inaccurate exaggeration to imply that a company’s products are even close to having reached the point of zero climate footprint.
Apple itself claims to have reduced emissions by more than 75% for every carbon-neutral Apple Watch. Watches that meet these requirements include all models of the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch SE, as long as they are made of aluminum and sold with the Loop sport band. The Apple Watch Ultra 2 also falls into this category if paired with the new Loop Trail or Loop Alpine straps.
Apple’s drastic drop in emissions is due to three very important factors:
- The use of 100% clean electricity when manufacturing the watches and using the product.
- The use of 30% recycled or renewable material by weight.
- At least half of its shipments are shipped by means other than air.
The trick: carbon credits
However, this does not mean that Apple Watches do not pollute at all. Such blunt claims by the Cupertino-based company stem from the controversial use of carbon credits.
A carbon credit is, in essence, a unit representing one ton of CO2. These credits are “redeemed” by companies in green projects and are used to “offset” the carbon footprint generated. From Apple, they claim that their credits are being used to “restore prairies, wetlands and forests”. While the company may not be “lying” in its claims, it is important to know what bearing the much revered carbon neutral badge actually consists of.