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New iPhones are less ecofriendly than before


Launching alongside Apple’s flagship 5S iPhone will be the 5C, the first mid-range iPhone, with fewer features and a plastic casing instead of aluminium. The 5S will have a carbon footprint of 70kg, the 5C a footprint of 60kg. Of the 5S’s 70kg carbon footprint, 81% will be emitted during production and 12% during phone’s ‘career’ (which is how I like to think of it). The new iPhones will be less environmentally friendly than those that came before. To be clear: the total carbon footprint per phone has increased, but mostly that is accounted for by production. In terms of running cost, a 13W energy efficient light bulb is eight times more wasteful than an iPhone.


Apple’s supply chain has a recycling standard of over 70%, which green groups largely approve of despite an ongoing battle to stem human rights abuses committed by factory owners trying to maximize productivity. CEO Tim Cook is said to have sustainability at the heart of his vision for the company. Yet here comes a slightly more wasteful iPhone. Perhaps it’s a necessary step in Cook’s march towards a sweeter Apple? However you look at it, the carbon output per handset is significant considering how many Apple plan to sell.

Source: Environment and Development Magazine

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