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Watch Series 9 is Apple’s first carbon-neutral device: What is carbon neutrality, why is it important

Apple Watch Series 9 is the first carbon-neutral product from the company. Here's how the company has offset carbon emissions from Watch Series 9 manufacturing.

Edited By: Om Gupta

Published: Sep 13, 2023, 03:22 PM IST

apple watch series 9
apple watch series 9

Story Highlights

  • Apple Watch Series 9 is powered by S9 SiP.
  • Apple Watch Series 9 comes with Double Tap gesture control.
  • Apple Watch Series 9 has a 2X brighter display.

Apple Watch Series 9: Apple launched its new Watch Series 9 at the Wonderlust event last night. The newly launched Apple Watch comes with a host of new and advanced features such as an S9 SiP (System in Package), a Double Tap gesture to answer a call, play and pause music, and stop a timer to name a few. The Watch Series 9 has a 2X brighter display with up to 2,000nits of maximum brightness and on-device Siri processing. But that is not all, it has one more important feature that makes this device an interesting product. Apple Watch Series 9 is the first-ever carbon-neutral product from the company.

Apple claims that it has achieved over 75 percent reduction in emissions from each Apple Watch Series 9 by innovating its design and energy consumption. For the remaining emissions, the company has planned to use high-quality carbon credits primarily from nature-based projects that remove carbon from the atmosphere, like restoring grasslands, wetlands, and forests.

“We’ve achieved an important milestone in making the world’s most popular watch carbon neutral — and we will keep innovating to meet the urgency of the moment,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives said in a statement. This initiative is part of Apple’s 2030 goal to make every product carbon-neutral by the end of the decade.

Overall, the Wonderlust event last night focussed immensely on sustainability and reducing the company’s overall carbon footprint, not just for the Watch Series 9 but also its iPhone 15 models.

But what does it mean to be a carbon-neutral product?

Carbon neutral product means any carbon released in the atmosphere during the manufacturing of the product is compensated by carbon offsetting projects that will remove the same amount of the carbon from the atmosphere. So, the net carbon emitted in the atmosphere will remain zero.

Carbon neutrality is important because the greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxides emitted into the atmosphere during activities such as manufacturing, transportation and mining remain in the atmosphere for a very long time. For instance, carbon dioxide can remain in the atmosphere between 300 and 1,000 years. These greenhouse gases cause the heating of the atmosphere also known as global warming, which further leads to the melting of polar ice and climate change.

Simply put, the erratic floods and drought that we saw in Europe, or the wildfires that burnt down forests in the US, Canada and Europe earlier this year are all a result of global warming and ultimately the increase in quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This is why monitoring the level of carbon and greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere becomes important. To address this issue, tech companies and countries have set their carbon neutrality goals.

Apple, like other companies, has promised to cut down its carbon emissions and become a net-neutral company by 2030. The company has committed to becoming carbon neutral across its entire value chain by 2030. So far, it has reduced its total emissions by over 45 percent since 2015. Here’s what the company has done so far:

  • In 2020, Apple achieved carbon neutrality for its global corporate operations.
  • Since 2018, all of Apple’s corporate offices, data centres, and retail stores worldwide have been powered by renewable electricity.

How is Apple Watch Series 9 a carbon-neutral product?

Carbon-neutral Apple Watch Series 9

Apple has focused on reducing the greenhouse gas emissions from the three sources across the Watch Series 9 life cycle, which includes energy consumption, materials and transportation.

Energy consumption

Starting with electricity, all the manufacturing activity for the carbon-neutral Apple Watch models are being powered by 100 percent clean energy through investments and sourcing by Apple and its suppliers. Apart from this, Apple has committed to match 100 percent of customers’ expected electricity use for charging by investing in large-scale solar and wind projects around the world.


Coming to material, Apple said that it is ending the use of leather across its product lines including its Watch bands and will replace it with a new textile called FineWoven, which is made from 68 percent post-consumer recycled content. FineWoven will be available on Apple Watch bands. Furthermore, the popular Sport Loop has been redesigned to include 82 percent recycled yarn, which includes discarded fishing nets and is now carbon neutral.

The company is also using recycled material in the key components of the Watch Series 9. It will now come with 100 percent recycled aluminium in the case and includes 100 percent recycled Cobalt in the battery. The new Watch Series 9 will come in 100 percent fibre-based packaging.


Lastly transportation, the company said that it is shifting more products to ocean and rail transport as they are less carbon-intensive than air transport. At least 50 percent of the combined weight of Apple Watch Series 9 and bands will be shipped using non-air modes, which as per the company will cut the total transportation emissions nearly in half. Their packaging has also been redesigned for compactness, which will allow for 25 percent more devices per shipment.


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Author Name | Om Gupta


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