MacBook 12-inch

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MacBook 12-inch
Carbon Footprint
GHG Emissions Facts
Per 12-inch 512GB device
Total:430 kg CO₂e
430,000 gCO₂e
 Production:383 kg CO₂e
383,000 gCO₂e
 Distribution:9 kg CO₂e
9,000 gCO₂e
 Usage:34 kg CO₂e
34,000 gCO₂e
 End of Life:4 kg CO₂e
4,000 gCO₂e
Carbon Budget
Per person annual emissions
Source: Apple Inc[1]

The MacBook is a laptop designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. Data on this page is based on the 12-inch 512GB MacBook model MLH82 released on April 19, 2016. The device has a life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 430 kg carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). The developer estimates a service life of 4 years for this laptop, which gives it an estimated yearly carbon footprint of about 107.5 kg CO2e. [1]

The principal source of information for this article is an environmental report published by Apple Inc.[1] 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.[2]


The device is composed of aluminum, a lithium-ion polymer battery, a LED-backlit display, keyboard and trackpad, circuit boards, various metals, and plastics (non-PVC). The manufacturer states that the device complies with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS). This directive limits the amount of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, and the brominated flame retardants PBB and PBDE that can be present in the product. The manufacturer also self enforces restrictions that include using arsenic-free glass, mercury-free display, and not using PVC, beryllium, or other brominated flame retardants. Emission information specific to materials was not provided by the manufacturer. This information is included in the production statistics.[1]


Production of each device emits 383 kg CO2e or 89% of life cycle emissions from this product. This includes the extraction, production, and transport of raw materials for the device and product packaging.[1]


The product retail packaging consists of 255 grams of paperboard, 110 grams of high-impact polystyrene, and 12 grams of other plastics. The shipping box contains an additional 370 grams of corrugated cardboard. The recycled content in the corrugated cardboard is 70% and the recycled content in the retail box is 30%. The product packaging emissions are included in the production statistics.[1]


Distribution accounts for 2% of the device’s greenhouse gas emissions or 9 kg CO2e. Apple has included air and sea transport from the manufacturing site to regional distribution hubs and from the distribution hubs to the end consumer in these statistics.[1]


Consumer usage of the MacBook accounts for 8% (34 kg CO2e) of the greenhouse gas emissions during the device’s estimated life cycle. This is based on historical customer-use data and four years of electricity usage by the first owner of the device.This does not include any accessories or associated hardware purchased by the user. Subsequent owners of the laptop are not included in this emission data.[1]

End of Life

The service life of a MacBook is estimated by Apple to be four years. Apple Inc. offers recycling programs in 99% of countries where the products are sold. The transportation to recycling centers and energy used during the separation and shredding of components is 1% (4 kg CO2e) of the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions.[1]

See also[edit]

  • Laptop computers - comparison of the environmental impacts of laptop computers
  • MacBook - comparison of MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro laptops
  • Apple Inc - comparison of GHG emissions from Apple Inc. products


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 MacBook Environmental Report. Apple Inc., 19 Apr. 2016. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.
  2. "More answers to your questions about Apple and the environment". Apple. Accessed January 4 2017. Archived