ced this week that it’s buying carbon-free aluminum that’s been manufactured at scale without any direct emissions during the smelting process. It won’t be long before that new material finds its way into an Apple product — Apple says the carbon-free aluminum will be used in the new iPhone SE (2022) that’s making its debut this month.
The iPhone’s aluminum is made in lab in a process that produces oxygen, not greenhouse gasses. Your next iPhone could be made out of a very different kind of material if Apple has anything to say about it. The electronics giant announThe aluminium in the iPhone is manufactured in a lab using a procedure that creates oxygen rather than greenhouse gases. If Apple has anything to say about it, your future iPhone could be built of a completely different kind of material. This Thursday, the electronics behemoth stated that it will purchase carbon-free aluminium that has been mass-produced without any direct emissions during the smelting process. It won’t be long before that new material appears in an Apple product – the carbon-free aluminium will be used in the new iPhone SE (2022) that will be released later this month, according to Apple.
Apple has been investing in clean power and emission reduction by issuing what it calls Green Bonds to fund projects. Since 2016, the company says it’s invested $4.7 billion in Green Bonds. If you’ve watched any recent Apple launch events, you’ll know that a product’s environmental impact is a frequently included topic. For instance, every model in the iPad lineup uses an enclosure that’s made with recycled aluminum; that material also is used in the latest MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini and Apple Watch. All that has helped Apple reduce its carbon emissions associated with aluminum by nearly 70% since 2015.
This isn’t the first time Apple has used lab-made metal in its products. The company bought a small batch of aluminum in 2019, incorporating it into the 16-inch MacBook Pro. The aluminum used in the iPhone SE comes from Elysis, which has figured out a way to manufacture the material with oxygen, rather than greenhouse gasses, as a byproduct. “This is the first time aluminum has been produced at this commercial purity, without any greenhouse gas emission and at industrial scale,” Elysis CEO Vincent Christ said in a statement accompanying Apple’s announcement.
With Apple’s goal of becoming carbon neutral across its supply chain by 2030, you’d figure we haven’t seen the last of the carbon-free aluminum used in the iPhone SE. Apple never discusses upcoming products, but with the iPhone 14 launch likely coming in the fall, it’s a safe bet that carbon-free aluminum will be one of the materials incorporated into future phones. Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics and old movies. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.