EU: Apple’s carbon-neutral Watch claims are ‘inaccurate’ and need to stop

Macworld

During its Wonderlust event last September, Apple went to great lengths to talk about how the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 were carbon neutral. If the European Union has its way, Apple won’t be able to tout the term when marketing its products.

According to a report in the Financial Times, the European Consumer Organization (Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs, or BEUC), will not allow companies to make neutrality claims based on carbon credits in product marketing. “Carbon neutral claims are scientifically inaccurate and mislead consumers,” Monique Goyens of BEUC said to the Financial Times. The ban is not yet official, but BEUC said that neutrality claims would not be allowed by 2026.

At issue is the way companies such as Apple achieve carbon neutrality. A company that is a heavy emitter of carbon dioxide can invest in what the United Nations’ Kyoto Protocol calls “The Clean Development Mechanism,” where the company implements an emission-reducing project in developing countries. The company then earns a carbon credit that counts towards meeting carbon neutrality targets.

The Apple Watch press release states that Apple uses “high-quality carbon credits from nature-based projects.” Still, the Financial Times says that organizations don’t believe that Apple’s carbon credits are “of a high enough quality” to truly affect the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. One example given is that Apple invested in Forestal Apepu, a tree-planting project in Paraguay, but the trees have been chopped down and sold as timber.

Apple is being spotlighted by the BEUC because it made a grand effort in marketing its carbon neutrality–during Wonderlust, Apple even performed a sketch where Apple executives met with Mother Nature, played by Octavia Spencer. But a recent report by Stand.earth showed that while Apple’s claims are overblown, the company does do more than Dell, Google, HP, Microsoft, and Nvidia to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Apple claims that its emissions created by Apple Watch production have been cut by 81 percent, compared to production in 2015. And the company has elevated the use of recycled materials in its products.

Apple Inc, Apple Watch

​Macworld Macworld

During its Wonderlust event last September, Apple went to great lengths to talk about how the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 were carbon neutral. If the European Union has its way, Apple won’t be able to tout the term when marketing its products.

According to a report in the Financial Times, the European Consumer Organization (Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs, or BEUC), will not allow companies to make neutrality claims based on carbon credits in product marketing. “Carbon neutral claims are scientifically inaccurate and mislead consumers,” Monique Goyens of BEUC said to the Financial Times. The ban is not yet official, but BEUC said that neutrality claims would not be allowed by 2026.

At issue is the way companies such as Apple achieve carbon neutrality. A company that is a heavy emitter of carbon dioxide can invest in what the United Nations’ Kyoto Protocol calls “The Clean Development Mechanism,” where the company implements an emission-reducing project in developing countries. The company then earns a carbon credit that counts towards meeting carbon neutrality targets.

The Apple Watch press release states that Apple uses “high-quality carbon credits from nature-based projects.” Still, the Financial Times says that organizations don’t believe that Apple’s carbon credits are “of a high enough quality” to truly affect the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. One example given is that Apple invested in Forestal Apepu, a tree-planting project in Paraguay, but the trees have been chopped down and sold as timber.

Apple is being spotlighted by the BEUC because it made a grand effort in marketing its carbon neutrality–during Wonderlust, Apple even performed a sketch where Apple executives met with Mother Nature, played by Octavia Spencer. But a recent report by Stand.earth showed that while Apple’s claims are overblown, the company does do more than Dell, Google, HP, Microsoft, and Nvidia to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Apple claims that its emissions created by Apple Watch production have been cut by 81 percent, compared to production in 2015. And the company has elevated the use of recycled materials in its products.

Apple Inc, Apple Watch 

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