In the midst of announcing one of these biggest iPhone releases in recent yearsApple dedicated a large portion of last month Wonderlust product announcement to his supposedly comprehensive environmental initiatives. The company even recorded a spooky featurette with actress Octavia Spencer chatting with CEO Tim Cook. Europe’s leading consumer group considers the company’s green initiatives quite optimistic, not least because of Apple’s constant claims that it is aiming for “carbon neutrality”.
Several groups, including Europe’s leading consumer organization, the European Consumer Organization (BEUC), expressed outrage at Apple’s move toward carbon neutrality. The Financial Times reported on Monday. BEUC director general Monique Goyens told the FT that these claims are “scientifically inaccurate and misleading consumers”.
Two EU decision-making bodies, the European Parliament and the Council, agreed Shortly after Apple’s product event, a marketing ban with greenwashing slogans such as “environmentally friendly” and “climate neutral” was imposed. It also prohibits “claims based on carbon offset schemes that a product has neutral, reduced or positive impacts on the environment.” The agreement is not set in stone, but would put an end to this type of messaging by 2026.
Apple called it new Apple Watch Series 9 its first truly CO2-neutral product. Part of this was the transition from leather products to the proprietary FineWoven textile based on recycled materialsalthough a larger part of Apple’s green claims was due to how it was its suppliers and shipping companies are switching to renewable energies. Apple wants to be completely climate neutral by the end of the decade.
Gizmodo reached out to Apple for comment, but we did not immediately receive a response. The company told the FT: “To meet global climate targets, we need immediate action to dramatically reduce emissions, coupled with investment in environmental protection and large-scale carbon removal.”
The BEUC already congratulated the EU’s planned ban on greenwashing messages in September. In one opinionUrsula Pachl, deputy director general of BEUC, said: “Claims of carbon neutrality are greenwashing, pure and simple.” This is a pretext that creates the impression that companies are taking serious action on their climate impact. The truth is that these claims are scientifically false and should never be used.”
In addition to claiming its products are carbon neutral, Apple repeatedly talks about carbon capture through planting trees in countries like Paraguay and Brazil, despite experts regularly saying this Planting trees will not put an end to climate change. Apple told the FT this was “natural carbon removal”, although climate groups criticized it Paraguay Project for the creation of forests consisting largely of eucalyptus trees, which will simply be cut down for timber within a decade. Trying to achieve true net zero emissions is really a pipe dream, and routine reports continue to do so prove that companies are not really ready to completely reduce their emissions as long as it reduces profits.