|GHG Emissions Facts|
|Per 64 GB device|
|Total:||75 kg CO₂e|
|Production:||62 kg CO₂e|
|Distribution:||2 kg CO₂e|
|Usage:||11 kg CO₂e|
|End of Life:||0.8 kg CO₂e|
|Per person annual emissions|
|Source: Apple Inc|
The iPhone SE is a smartphone designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. Unless otherwise specified, the environmental impact data on this page refers to the 64 GB model of the device which has life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 75 kg carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). Information on the GHG emissions from the 16 GB device were not included in Apple's environmental report for this product. The developer estimates a service life of three years for this smartphone, which gives it an estimated annual carbon footprint of about 25 kg CO2e for the 64 GB device.
The principal source of information for this article is an environmental report published by Apple Inc. Third-party verification of carbon emissions associated with company operations was obtained by Apple from Bureau Veritas, and calculations of downstream emissions related to the product were checked for quality and accuracy by the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany.
The device is composed of a lithium-ion polymer battery (25 g), aluminum (21 g), stainless steel (18 g), arsenic-free glass (18 g), circuit boards (13 g), a LED-backlit display (11 g), non-PVC plastic (5 g), and other materials (2 g). The manufacturer states that the devices comply with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS). This directive limits the amount of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, and brominated flame retardants PBB and PBDE that can be present in the product. Emission information specific to materials was not provided by the manufacturer, but is included in the production statistics.
The devices are manufactured in China by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd (Foxconn), Pegatron Corporation, and Wistron Corporation. Production of each device emits 62 kg CO2e or 82% of life cycle emissions from this product. This includes the extraction, production, and transport of raw materials for the device and product packaging.
The product retail packaging consists of approximately 81%(116 g) fiber and 19%(28 g) plastic. The plastic portion of the packaging includes 24 grams of polystyrene. The fiber used in the packaging includes 90% post-consumer recycled content. The company states that the packaging is recyclable. The product packaging emissions are included in the production statistics.
Distribution accounts for 3% of the device’s greenhouse gas emissions or 2 kg CO2e. Apple has included, in these measurements, air and sea transport from the manufacturing site to regional distribution hubs and from the distribution hubs to the end consumer.
Consumer usage of the iPhone SE accounts for 14% (11 kg CO2e) of the greenhouse gas emissions during the device’s life. This is based on three years of electricity usage by the first owner of the device. This does not include any accessories purchased by the user, such as cases, screen protectors, or chargers. Additionally, many products are resold after the first user, and use by subsequent users is not included in this emission data.
End of Life
The service life of an iPhone is estimated by Apple to be three years. Apple Inc. offers recycling programs in 99% of countries where the products are sold. Depending on the condition of the device the product may be recycled or resold. The product resale program is operated by Brightstar who refurbishes and resells 95% of devices they recycle. The remaining five percent of devices that can not be economically repaired are recycled for their raw materials. The transportation to recycling centers and energy used during the separation and shredding of components is 1% (0.8 kg CO2e) of the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions.
The table below lists products in the smartphone category with the lowest total GHG emissions.
|Product||Total (kg CO2e)|
|iPhone 6s (32GB)||54|
|iPhone 7 (32GB)||56|
|iPhone 6s Plus (32GB)||63|
- Smartphone - comparison of smartphone environmental impacts
- iPhone - detailed comparison of iPhone device environmental impacts
- Apple Inc - comparison of GHG emissions from Apple Inc. products
- iPhone SE Environmental Report. Apple Inc., 21 Mar. 2016. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.
- "More answers to your questions about Apple and the environment". Apple. Accessed January 4 2017. http://www.apple.com/environment/answers/. Archived
- "Reports - Supplier Responsibility - Apple". 2016. Apple. Accessed November 16 2016. http://www.apple.com/supplier-responsibility/progress-report/..
- Kim, Susanna. 2016. "What Happens To Your Recycled iPhones". ABC News. Accessed October 16 2016. http://abcnews.go.com/Business/recycled-iphones-apple-products/story?id=37872881.