Apple recently announced their commitment to reducing their corporate emissions to 100 percent carbon neutral by 2030, joining other tech and retail giants like Microsoft and Amazon who made similar commitments earlier this year. While the goal is an admirable one, the plan of execution lacks one key component: repair.
Notoriously known for their stance against the right to repair, the company has made several small yet notable steps forward in recent months, including opening more independent repair shops for their products and creating DIY SSD kits for Mac Pro owners. However, as noted in a statement by U.S.PIRG’s Right to Repair Campaign Director, Nathan Proctor, repair would play an essential role in achieving their new goal, yet repair and reuse are surprisingly not mentioned in the plan Apple has released.
If all goes as intended, every computer, phone, and tablet sold will have “no climate impact” in the next 10 years. But in order to fulfill their pledge to sustainability, Apple must reconsider its stance on repair. If every American could continue using their phone for one extra year through access to repair, the amount of emission reductions would equivocate that of 636,000 cars, according to a report U.S.PIRG released in March.
The bulk of emissions in the tech industry comes solely from the production of new products. “The biggest sustainability problem with our relationship with tech is how many items we buy and how quickly we dispose of them,” said Proctor.
If Apple truly intends to keep up with their new commitment they are going to have to open the doors to the right to repair for their customers to extend the lifespan of their products and cut emissions and waste where it matters most.