Tomorrow is Earth Day, a day dedicated to strong environmental messages and reminders of the fragility of our planet, and Apple CEO Tim Cook is contributing his own environmentalist message. In a new ad, Cook addresses Apple’s stance on the environment and encourages others to follow suit.
The keyword is “Better”. “It’s a powerful word, and a powerful ideal,” said Cook in the ad. “And better can’t be better if it doesn’t consider everything. Our products, our values, and an even stronger commitment to the environment for the future.” Throughout the video, Cook highlights ways that Apple is making their commitment, including the use of hardware designs that use less resources, less packing in their products, and environmentally-friendly components. In the past decade, Apple has even gone as far as developing large-scale facilities that run completely off of renewable energy. The message in the video, combined with the imagery is powerful, and proves how far Apple is truly willing to go to make an environmental impact.
Cook’s narration reflects upon his own goal for Apple, his message. The power of his words shows the viewer that Cook is clearly taking an active role with environmentalism, putting his vision to work. Although Steve Jobs began the initiative, Cook has been more vocal, as indicated by his decision to narrate the ad. Apple’s ad not only ensures that the company is an environmentalist company, but also raises awareness of many issues, such as global climate change. Apple has also update its environmental web page, coinciding with the ad and Earth Day. Overall, Cook and Apple look to perfect their practices and inspire other companies to do the same.
They even hired the former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson, as Apple’s Vice President for Environmental Initiatives. Jackson’s job is to monitor Apple’s environmental progress and report directly to Cook.
Apple’s larger projects include the green-powered facilities, which began with their initiative a decade ago. Today, close to all facilities run with 94% renewable energy, which is a great leap from the reported 35% in 2010. Data centers, which are also green-power, are even testing renewable energy tech, such a solar power. Nearly 100% of the data centers’ power is coming from renewable energy, which is a huge improvement, considering that data centers are known to waste energy, generally using about 2% of energy generated in the US (and rising).
Apple’s own hardware, which is already developed with the environment in mind, also strives to use less energy. Today’s iMacs use about 97% less energy in sleep mode, as compared to their original counterparts.
Although there is still room for improvements (hardware is 98% of the carbon footprint), Apple and Cook have made some significant progress. Apple has even begun to offer a hardware take-back program for old, unwanted devices. Instead of throwing the hardware away, you can simply ship it back to Apple.
Apple continues to expand with their data centers and hardware, even announcing that 120 of their American stores are now fully powered by renewable resources. We can almost certainly expect this initiative to become more focused with Apple’s next line of products, which are rumored for later this year. Among those expected to be revealed at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, we could likely see a lower cost iMac, the iPad Air 2, a new iPad Mini, the long-rumored iWatch, the iPhone 6, and a new, smaller Macbook. Apple will likely continue with reducing their carbon footprint by being environmentally conscious with the materials that go into this new line of devices.