Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), in a newly created section of the company's website dedicated to its green agenda, announced the company’s latest environmental initiatives, to coincide with Tuesday’s annual celebration of Earth Day.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company will now offer free recycling of used devices at all its retail stores worldwide and it has vowed to power all of its company stores, offices and data centers with renewable energy. According to Associated Press, or AP, all four of Apple’s data centers, located in the states of North Carolina, Oregon, Nevada and California, rely entirely on renewable energy, with the electricity to power the facilities coming from a variety of sources, such as biogas, wind, solar and hydro power.
“Every Apple Retail Store will now take back Apple products for free, responsible recycling,” Apple said, on the web page titled Environmental Responsibility. “We also hold special recycling events where we’ll even accept other companies’ products.”
Although Apple has had a recycling program for quite some time, the terms for trading in a product would vary depending on the device category. While users looking to drop off an iPhone or iPod were allowed to bring the device into a company retail store or ship it to a recycling center, those looking to turn in a Mac or iPad for recycling were asked to fill out an online form and ship the device with a prepaid label, MacRumors reported.
The latest offer, which allows customers to bring in all Apple products to any of the company's authorized retail locations, covers a wide array of electronics that are not supposed to be dumped in landfills because of the toxins inside them. Apple has sold more than 1 billion iPhones, iPods, iPads and Macs over the past seven years, AP reported.
“We’ve led the industry in removing many harmful toxins from our products, such as PVC, brominated flame retardants, and phthalates. And we’ve recycled more than 421 million pounds of electronic waste,” Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of environmental initiatives, said in a statement.
Apple was recently praised by Greenpeace in its review of the technology industry’s programs aimed at preserving the environment. The organization described Apple as “the most innovative and most aggressive in pursuing its commitment to be 100 percent renewably powered” among 19 companies covered in the review.
Apple also said that nearly 90 percent of the power in the company’s offices worldwide is supplied by renewable energy sources, up from 35 percent in 2010. In addition, the company’s new 2.8-million-square-foot headquarters in Cupertino -- expected to be completed in 2016 -- will also be powered solely by renewable energy.
On Monday, Apple launched its “Better” environmental campaign that included a video highlighting the environmental efforts of its Apple Campus 2 project. The company also celebrated Earth Day at its retail stores around the world by updating its logo with a green leaf.
“We aim to create not just the best products in the world, but the best products for the world,” Jackson said. “For example, every one of our data centers is powered entirely by clean sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal energy. So whenever you download a song, update an app, or ask Siri a question, the energy Apple uses is provided by nature.”