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Tools used in this project
Attaining Carbon Neutrality

About this project

This project seeks to visualize Apple’s progress toward meeting their 2030 goal of reaching carbon neutrality across their corporate operations and entire product life cycle.

ABOUT DATASET:

Dataset contains 3 tables namely; The “Greenhouse Gas Emissions” table containing the source of Apple’s greenhouse gas emissions from 2015 to 2022 divided by category (corporate and product life cycle), scope (direct scope 1 emissions and indirect scope 2 and 3 emissions), and type (emissions and removals). The “Carbon Footprint by Product” table contains the emissions from the product life cycle of every baseline iPhone model released between 2015-2022. The “Normalizing Factors” table contains Apple’s revenue, market cap, and employees during the same period.

TASK:

Working as an independent journalist and data viz enthusiast, I am to visualize Apple’s progress toward meeting their 2030 goal of reaching carbon neutrality across their corporate operations and entire product life cycle.

APPROACH:

Report and visualization was done with the mindset of What the public will want to know regarding Apple’s announcement which is how true Apple’s announcement is?

(1) Is it true that Apple has become Carbon neutral in their corporate operations?

(2) How feasible is Apple’s goal of making their products carbon neutral in 2030?

A closer look at apple’s announcement and that revealed from visualizing apple’s data:

It’s important to understand that in Apple’s announcement in 2020, Apple declared her corporate operations to have become “Carbon neutral” and not that her corporate operations have reached a “net zero emission” or will reach a net zero next year.

From research, Carbon neutrality refers to “a business ambition to limit future increase in Carbon emissions while using offsets to neutralize existing emissions”. “Net Zero” on the other hand places much more focus on reducing Carbon emissions as much as possible first and only offsetting unavoidable, residual CO2 as a last resort.”

undefinedHere are things to note about Apple’s claim to have become carbon neutral in their corporate operations:

  1. After Apple’s announcement in 2020, Apple had a net zero emission in the next two years being 2021 and 2022.
  2. We can expect Apple to continue having net zero emissions in the coming years in her corporate operations as this is the implication of apple’s announcement of becoming carbon neutral in her corporate operations.
  3. 2022 emissions (324, 000 CO2e) were more than that of 2021 (166, 000 CO2e), violating one of the criteria for Carbon neutrality which is “limiting future increase in Carbon emissions”. Can we still say Apple has attained Carbon neutrality because Apple has succeeded in using offsets to neutralize existing emissions in her corporate operations?
  4. However, Apple also mentioned 2015’s CO2 emissions as the baseline in her announcement. 2022 emissions (324, 000 CO2e) was below 2015’s emissions (383,000 CO2e) in corporate operations therefore, Apple has not violated any of the criteria for neutrality and can therefore be said to be carbon neutral in her corporate operations after the announcement.

How about Apple’s ambition towards reaching carbon neutrality across their entire product life cycle?

undefinedThings to note from Apple’s previous emissions:

  1. Apple has consistently reduced their yearly carbon emissions prior to their announcement in 2020 and they intend to continue reducing their CO2 emissions with 2015’s emission as baseline.
  2. Apple’s first product life cycle CO2 Offset was in 2021, a year after apple’s announcement. This was 2% of 2021 total emission (23,020,000 CO2e). There was zero carbon offset in 2022.
  3. Apple’s focus in this category has been more on reducing Carbon emissions than it is on offsetting carbon.
  4. The highest carbon offset in a year in this category was 500,000 CO2 removals in 2021. Will Apple be able to offset 9.5m CO2 in 9 years’ time?

Projections on Product emissions Reductions and Offsets:

Projections on Product carbon emission Reductions:

undefinedIf Apple continues with same yearly decline rate, Apple may reach the 75% co2e reduction in 2028 which is 2 years before target year.

Projections on Product carbon emission Offsets:

undefined

Maximum co2e that Apple was projected to offset in 2030 was (962K) with 95% probability of Offset falling between (571,954) and (1,351,197). This Is far from the target (9.5M CO2e) carbon that Apple plans to offset.

Last Section of the report was dedicated to related info’s that one may want to find out more.

  1. The composition of Apples’ emissions by category: Phone Life cycle category accounts for 99% of Apple’s Carbon Emissions and also accounts for 45% of total Apple’s Carbon removals.
  2. Apple’s carbon footprint: As newer Apple products are being produced, they ensure that lesser carbon is being emitted which is in line with their 2030 goal of attaining carbon neutrality.

undefinedIn conclusion, While Apple is on track in reduction of CO2e, A lot needs to be done in terms of carbon offsets for a zero net emission in apples' product category come 2030. Apple’s zero net emission in Corporate operation is expected to continue yearly.

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Discussion and feedback(1 comment)
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Walid Hussein
Walid Hussein
9 months ago
Nice project ,well done
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