Apple’s green technology investment revolutionizes aluminium

March 25, 2022

As a world leader in consumer technology products, Apple invests in technologies that revolutionize raw materials—including aluminium. They design their products for a low carbon world. And, consumers benefit with products that have a low environmental footprint.

Apple announced that it will purchase the first batch of commercial-purity, low-carbon aluminium from ELYSIS for use in the iPhone SE.

This aluminium was produced by ELYSIS, the company behind the world’s first direct carbon-free aluminium smelting process, at its Industrial Research and Development Centre in Quebec using hydropower. The breakthrough technology produces oxygen instead of greenhouse gases, and the achievement marks a major milestone in the production of aluminium, one of the world’s most widely used metals.

Apple helped spur this revolutionary advancement in aluminium production through an investment partnership with Alcoa, Rio Tinto, and the governments of Canada and Quebec that began in 2018. The following year, Apple purchased the first-ever commercial batch of aluminium resulting from the joint venture, using it in the production of the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

“This is the first time aluminium has been produced at this commercial purity, without any greenhouse gas emission and at industrial scale. The sale to Apple confirms the market’s interest in aluminium produced using our breakthrough ELYSIS carbon-free smelting technology. Today’s announcement proves that ELYSIS, a joint venture between Alcoa and Rio Tinto, was able to turn an idea into reality,” said Vincent Christ, ELYSIS’s CEO. “We are excited to be working alongside Apple on this advancement, which has the potential to make lasting changes in how aluminium is produced.”

The milestone builds on significant progress Apple has made in reducing the carbon impact of aluminium and other metals found in its products. By switching to recycled aluminium and aluminium smelted using hydroelectricity instead of fossil fuels, the company’s carbon emissions associated with aluminium have decreased by nearly 70% since 2015.

“Apple is committed to leaving the planet better than we found it,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives. “Our investments are advancing the breakthrough technologies needed to reduce the carbon footprint of the materials we use, even as we move to using only recyclable and renewable materials across our products to conserve the earth’s finite resources.”

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