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Apple has been seriously stepping up its game when it comes to promoting itself as an earth-friendly company, with the most recent step being an advertisement for its Messaging app. The ad takes place entirely within the Messaging app, and shows how the data centers used to send and receive iMessages are powered by 100% renewable energy.
According to the ad, since the Messages app is powered by renewable energy, users are showing the Earth some love just by using Apple’s service.
Of course, this isn’t really earth-shattering news. Apple announced that its data centers were powered by 100 percent renewable energy back in 2013. In fact, around the globe 93 percent of Apple’s facilities are run on renewable energy. Apple’s new campus, appropriately called Apple Campus 2, will also run on completely renewable energy.
While it might not be news, the fact that iMessage is powered by 100 percent renewable energy is significant – if you were ever concerned about how much energy is used up when you do things like send a message, now you know there’s no need to be!
This isn’t the only initiative that Apple has started for the planet – the company recently announced an initiative for the World Wildlife Fund. As part of the campaign, 24 developers built content into their apps related to the WWF’s cause. In fact, 100 percent of the money made from that content went straight to the WWF – whether that be money generated by the purchasing of the app, by in-app purchases, or by advertisements within the app.
The initiative focused on a number of the WWF’s core efforts – including the conservation of forests, fresh water, wildlife, oceans, and raising awareness about climate change. 27 apps were part of the program, each of them getting different kinds of content. For example, Star Wars Galaxy featured a new battle in which Ewoks protected the forests of Endor. The campaign has officially ended now, however it does show Apple’s intent on creating ways to help the planet.
Apple has also recently started a program called Apple Renew. The program essentially allows users to recycle their older devices by heading to an Apple Store, or by sending the device in. This allows for the parts inside the device to be recycled in the creation of new devices, ensuring Apple doesn’t need to get resources for those parts from alternate methods.
As part of this, Apple recently unveiled a robot that it was using to take apart old iPhones – Liam. Liam is a massive robot with 29 freestanding arms at various stations. While most robots are put to work in product assembly, however, Liam is aimed at product disassembly.
When an iPhone 6s is sent back to Apple, every single component is scrutinized, and the device is disassembled part by part, as long as the device has salvageable parts that could be reused.
The creation of Liam sees Apple trying to address a big problem in the consumer tech industry. Electronic waste, particularly when it comes to batteries, is a big hazard in developing countries, which is where much of the waste ultimately finds itself. Creating programs to reuse this waste in the U.S., before it ends up collecting somewhere else, helps address this problem.
Liam is specifically programmed to salvage things like SIM card trays, screws, batteries, and cameras, simply removing them piece by piece so that they’re easier to recycle. All this is done with robotic precision so that, for example, pieces of plastic and glass won’t be mixed up with the parts being salvaged.
Still, while Liam is a great first step towards salvaging parts used on older devices, Apple, and other companies, still have a long way to go – especially considering its not yet really known at what scale Liam can work at. Despite this, unlike Apple’s other products, the company says Liam is one thing it hopes competing companies will copy, ensuring that as much as possible is reused.
Apple is also celebrating a greener planet by temporarily changing the logos of its retails stores to feature a green accent rather than a white one. Employees are also adorned with green t-shirts.
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