ICT Sustainability : Research Proposal and Literature Review

1. ICT: Sustainability Of Apple Summary:

ICT sustainability is a term that means the application in Research Proposal of Information, communication technology within the field of Environmental Sustainability. Recently, Information and communication technology creates a great affect the society[3]. However, due to the quick and frequent change in ICT use globally make a negative impact on the environment to sustain for the longer period. Our world is facing a great danger. In this report, it has that how the big  IT corporate like APPLE implement a sustainable asset management system, energy audit program, and implement an environmental management system to help nature of the world globally for a longer period of sustention.

2. Aims and Goals of Research Proposal:

Main aims and the goals of the Research Proposal is to illustrate how the organization effectively implement and continue with the Asset management system to substantially decreasing the level of energy consumption of  the IT factories to save the Conventional sources of energy like Cole and water. For monitoring and control the level of consumption how they conduct the energy audit and what are the waste management and recycle management system, they have taken to ensure welfare of the global environment [7].

3. Discussion

3.1What APPLE Strive:

For the last past 10 years apple are trying to create the products, which are best in every way. The brand Apple is known as for the innovation and excellence, which is easy to use, powerful and very latest and the same passion of innovation they carrying in their field of environmental responsibility [3]. For that reason only they work tirelessly to reduce the impact of producing the Information Technology goods they innovate on environment. They always try to find the greener material and conserve the resources as many as possible, which we all need to thrive [9].

3.2 Apple has generated a big responsibility to leave a smaller footprint:

As a global company apple produce some of the most popular products of the worlds and to manufacture, shipment and transporting them to the end user they consume an immense amount of energy and material which in turn generates green house gas emissions and that contributed to the climate change. To recovery from that, for first time only in the world they converted their all data centre in to 100 percent renewable energy source work station which is strictly guided by energy star guideline [15].

Apple has taken rigorous approach to measuring our environmental impact. No other It company does it like apple’s way as they use a comprehensive product life cycle analysis  and through that apple measures the carbon footprint throughout the entire life of  their  products. Only Apple report  their al carbon footprint data by adding up emissions generated from the manufacturing, transportation, use, and recycling of  their products, as well as emissions generated by all of  shipments[1] .

Apple has recently signed the CERES Climate Declaration, which recognizes the business challenges and opportunities of fighting climate change.The total carbon footprint of Apple for the year 2013 was 33,800,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

3.2.1 How apple controls the carbon footprint:

Apple is always improving the way of conducting their greenhouse gas life cycle analysis. If that analysis makes any identification on any particular when material, process, or system, which is making a significant negative impact carbon footprint, there is a process, which re-examines how apple can regenerate the processor, and redesign that product [6].

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As for example, Apple was using industry standard methods to account for their emissions from aluminium, but because apple uses aluminium in so many of our products, they decided to go with an extensive survey with their aluminium suppliers. Further study revealed that emissions associated with the manufacturing of aluminium were nearly four times higher than the industry specification, so Apple updated the 2013 life cycle analysis data to be more accurate. Because of that, the carbon emissions they reported for 2013 are 9% higher than the carbon emissions Apple reported for 2012[11].

3.3 100% renewable powered data centre:

All our data centres of APPLE across the world are powered by 100 percent renewable energy sources and through that result in zero greenhouse gas emissions, The energy sources of those data centres include solar, wind, and geothermal power which mainly comes from both on-site sources( solar panels)  and energy obtained from local resources.  It is so innovative and exclusive itself that every time a song is downloaded from iTunes, an app is installed from the Mac App Store, or any apple user downloads a book from iBooks throughout the world, the energy Apple uses is provided by renewable recourses of nature. All the data centres of apple are also practiced paperless communication and administration internally.

Research Proposal

Graph1: Increase of renewable energy usages in Apple data centres in years

3.4 Apple keeps aside harmful toxins in the product and progress:

Most of the substances commonly used in the electronics industry can be harmful to the natural habitats of the planet as well as can make a bad impact on the total flora and fauna of the planet [8]. Therefore, Apple always strives to design their products with cleaner, safer environment-friendly materials to reduce and eliminate those harmful toxins.

With good manufacturing processes and responsible recycling Apple has enabled to minimize toxins in their supply chain, which helps keep land, air, and water free from pollutants. Apple set their own benchmarks to stop using many harmful toxins that are damaging our environment.

Harmful Toxins Apple’s Initiative
Mercury (Hg) Eliminated from display s since 2009
Lead (Pb) Formally used in display glass and solder, eliminated completely in 2006
Arsenic (As) Traditionally used for clarity in glass, started manufacturing  with arsenic free glass since 2008
PVC(polyvinyl Chloride ) Formally used in computers, cables,  replaced with no chlorinated and non Brominated  thermoplastic elastomers since 1995
BFRs (Brominated flame retardants) Formally used in circuit boards ,eliminated since 2008
Pht( Phthalates)  Previously used to soften the plastics in cables and power cords eliminated in 2013

Table 1: Elimination of Harmful toxins by Apple through the years


3.5 Apple’s commitment to maintaining environment deep into supply chain:

The commitment of Apple to environmental responsibility extends deep into their supply chain management system. Apple always expects from their suppliers to go beyond the law to protect their local natural habitat and minimize impact of pollution to the environment. They insist their suppliers to include hazardous waste management, wastewater management, storm water management, air emissions management, and boundary noise management and business management in their CSR menu and practice the same in an authentic way.

Apple monitor the environmental risks through a variety of methods, like onsite compliance audits, environmental profile surveys, NGO partnerships, and resources like the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE) water and air pollution database. They have conducted all over more than 520 environmental profile surveys in 2013, and the focused group, for that survey was their suppliers. The survey data helps them to identify the loopholes of risks by product, which helps them to design a proper training and development program for those supplies to reduce their impact on the environment [14].

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After identifying risks or problems, Apple conducted a further in-depth environmental assessment in 2013, through conducting 62 assessments, which generally composed on analyzing historical issues, taking environmental samples of things like discharge water and sediment, gathering information from the local habitats, and pointing out violations of Apple’s Code of Conduct.

3.6 Apple uses planet resources responsively and recycles too:

It is known to all that in context of sources of recourses our planet has already come to its thresh hold limits. Therefore, Apple is working towards to take only that much amount from the environment, which is required [12]. Trying to adopt the quality to use less and recycle more by implementing various green strategies throughout the business. They have evolved innovative ways to use recycled, recyclable, and sustainable plant base materials in their products to make the planet more sustainable and green.

3.6.1 Apple doing more with less:

For the last 10-15 years Apple designers and engineers are continuing to innovate and develop new ways to build products with less material still more efficient. By using technology like “Unibody” Apple are constructing the products like e iPad, Mac Book Pro, and Mac Book Air in a thinner shape  but even more resilient[11]. As per example, Latest model of Mac Pro uses 74 % less aluminium and steel than the previous design and the newest iMac contains 68 % less material than the first iMac.

3.6.2 Apple product designed for durability:

Apple design everything from the largest displays to  smallest cables as a durable and long-lasting product and for ensuring that the products are tested in Reliability Testing Lab situated in Cupertino.

It is not required for an apple user to buy a new Apple product, as the version of the product is getting older. Apple makes it easier to update to new versions of apps, software, and entire operating systems. An operating system named “OS X Mavericksishas deliberately designed which works on Mac computers, which has the ability to adopt the newer version [5].

Notebook batteries of Apple last up to five years. Newer technology applied by Apple on the notebooks saves on buying new batteries, produces less waste, and increases the lifespan of the notebook.

3.6.3 Apple is recycling Process:

Electronic waste generated from the manufacturing process can be a serious health and environmental issue, if not recycled properly [4]. All these biochemical hazards generally being dumped in the countries and that can form dangerous toxins that can affect people and the environment.

In order to revive from that kind of situation, Apple is showing their continuous commitment by educating and insisting people with innovative recycle responsibly. Every Apple Retail Store is responsible to take back the used Apple products for free recycling [6]. Apple has also initiated recycling programs in cities and college campuses in 95 percent of the countries where they have their footprints.

Until date, apple has successfully diverted more than 421 million pounds of equipment from landfills since 1994. In remote regions where Apple does not have taken back hazards programs, they continue with physical drop off/pickup activities. Most importantly, it is not always that apple gathers the hazards for recycling are only apple products 90% of the products they collect and recycle are not their own.

In 2010, the firm set out a target to achieve a worldwide recycling collection rate of 70%of the total weight of the products they sold seven years earlier. Since then, they have consistently achieved the rate of 85 %, which is 4th time higher than any other IT Assignment Help industry. However, the larger goal of Apple is to identify and implement innovative recycling technologies that can help to recover more additional materials and increase resource efficiency.  By addressing the issue, most recent collaboration is taken place Between Apple and Ellen MacArthur Foundation (A like‑minded group working to establish a more circular economy, in which material is transformed instead of wasted).

3.6.4 New Water recycles plans Of Apple:

Water is the world’s most precious resource; Apple is searching for new ways continuously to reduce water consumption during manufacturing, cooling, landscaping, and sanitation at their own work places, as well as at their supplier’s place. An innovative cooling system has been employed on Maiden, North Carolina data centre of Apple, which reuses water 35 times. That reduces the water consumption of the data centre by 20%.

In 2013, Apple deployed a number of water improvements at their Cupertino headquarters. To optimize the best water adaptation the organization converted over six acres of landscaping to climate adapted, drought tolerant plants and retrofitted the irrigation system, which includes over 36,000 square feet of turf with drought tolerant plants. This is expected to save over 3 million gallons of water each year. Apart from that, to increases soil moisture and reduces overall water demand Apple recycled 4214 cubic yards of the landscape as mentioned in this Research Proposal.

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To ensure the water conservation efforts from the suppliers end Apple established the Clean Water Program. This initiative helps reduce water use, promote water recycling and reuse, and prevent illegal water pollution within the supply chain of Apple.

4. Conclusion:

Through this Research Proposal, it is clear that Apple has generated 360-degree ICT sustainability not only by implementing the above-stated strategies in the work place but also try to adopt the same in the supply chain management also by taking various awareness programmes and training.