Apple’s Sweet Lullaby Promises 100% Carbon Neutrality by 2030

Tech brand vows to make its carbon footprint nonexistent in new ad

sleeping baby
The protagonist of Apple's latest advert is a baby, representing Generation Alpha born this year. Apple
Headshot of Mónica Marie Zorrilla

After delivering one of the most hilarious ads about working from home just two weeks ago, Apple has released another ad—only this time, it stars a baby and soothes with a lullaby about tackling environmental messes with planet-sized plans.

This lullaby isn’t sung; it’s spoken. Cooing in a whisper, the narrator introduces the viewer to Baby Edan (a name that means “magic”), who serves as a sort of placeholder for the cohort of Generation Alpha children who have been born in 2020. The reassuring voice promises Edan—and the rest of the planet—that everything Apple makes, including the way it makes it and how consumers use it, will be carbon neutral by the 10th birthday of these ’20s babies. Edan fusses a bit, but after listening to this calming vow to protect the future, Edan smiles and drifts back to sleep.

Apple has not yet released any information on agencies or directors involved in the ad.

According to Apple’s 2020 Environmental Progress Report, which was released in tandem with the 96-second spot’s debut, Apple has reduced its overall carbon footprint by 35%. Some actions taken to lower the tech giant’s emissions included:

  • Using 100% renewable electricity at all of it stores, offices and centers
  • Building the iPhone 11 triad from 100% recycle rare earth elements
  • Implementing the Supplier Clean Energy Program which lowered its footprint by 4.4 million metric tons
  • Producing a MacBook Air with over 40% recycled content

It’s also invested in the restoration of forests, wetlands and grasslands to remove carbon naturally.

But, the Cupertin0-based company issued a statement along with the advert that declares these green efforts have not been enough—the progress report indicates that Apple generated 25.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide last year (76% of those emissions came from product manufacturing alone). The next and most audacious step in Apple’s environmental plan? A nonexistent carbon footprint—from manufacturing to transportation and end-of-life material recovery—by 2030.

Per a release issued by the company, reaching net zero in 10 years is 20 years sooner than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s target. “Climate action can be the foundation for a new era of innovative potential, job creation and durable economic growth,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a statement. “With our commitment to carbon neutrality, we hope to be a ripple in the pond that creates a much larger change.”

Apple’s climate roadmap includes low carbon and recycled materials design, expanding energy efficiency, remaining committed to using 100% renewable energy for its operations, making technological improvements to processes and materials—like the development of the first direct carbon-free aluminum smelting process—and carbon removal in natural ecosystems.

The company is also establishing an Impact Accelerator as part of Apple’s recently announced $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative. The accelerator will focus on investing in minority-owned, eco-friendly businesses that drive positive outcomes in Apple’s supply chain and in communities that are disproportionately affected by climate change.

“Systemic racism and climate change are not separate issues, and they will not abide separate solutions,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, in a statement. “We have a generational opportunity to help build a greener and more just economy, one where we develop whole new industries in the pursuit of giving the next generation a planet worth calling home.”


@monicroqueta monica.zorrilla@adweek.com Mónica is a breaking news reporter at Adweek.
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