Apple : Grade A environmental report cards

Product-specific environmental report cards are clear, detailed and persuasive.

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The feature

Apple's Environment page on its corporate website has links to environmental report cards for the different versions of each of its devices - iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, etc. Visitors can scroll through a list of devices, then choose a version-specific report card (Apple Watch Series 6, Series 3, etc), which are in PDF format.

For example, the iPad Pro (12.9 inch) report card, dated March 18th 2020, is nine pages long. The opening page has top-level environmental data, followed by pages on the product lifecycle, source materials, supply chain practices and packaging, all of which is clearly illustrated with diagrams and images.

The takeaway

Apple's environmental report cards are unusually clear and detailed, making good use of visual elements to convey key information. They are a good example of serving the 'concerned consumer' on corporate digital channels.

They are only provided in PDF, however, which makes them hard to read on mobile devices; the addition of HTML versions would therefore be an improvement.

A key factor in Apple's digital sustainability communications is that there is a well thought through strategy underlying the communications and real action being taken to highlight, which means it is easier to convey persuasive messages online.
First published 23 September, 2020
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