Friday, July 13, 2012

How green is the new iPad - part 6: comparing the carbon footprint of the new iPad and iPad 2

After a short break we're back with our 7-part series in which we explore the carbon footprint and environmental impacts of the new iPad, compare it to those of the iPad 2 and try to figure out if Apple has made any progress from environmental perspective with its new iPad and what's the new breakeven point between books and ebooks on the iPad.

On every part of the series we're looking into another part of the carbon footprint of the new iPad. We already covered production, energy efficiency, packaging,
restricted substances and recycling. Today we're looking at the total carbon footprint.

Total carbon footprint:

Here is the information on the total carbon footprint of the new iPad (source: Apple's report):

Production 120.6
Customer use 45
Transport 10.8
Recycling 3.6
Total 180

Here is the information on the total carbon footprint of the iPad 2 (source:
Apple's report - revised version

Production 85.8
Customer use 29.9
Transport 11.7
Recycling 2.6
Total 130

Comparison between the carbon footprint of the new iPad and the iPad 2:

new iPad iPad 2 Change
Production 120.6 85.8 40.6%
Customer use 45 29.9 50.5%
Transport 10.8 11.7 -7.7%
Recycling 3.6 2.6 38.5%
Total 180 130 38.5%

Our take:
The picture is very clear - the new iPad has a significantly higher carbon footprint comparing to the iPad 2. Other than transportation, where we see some decline in emissions, all the other parts of the life cycle of the iPad have became more carbon intensive.

Bottom line: Apple is doing a poor job when it comes the carbon emissions of the iPad, not ensuring that a newer version will also be a greener one from a carbon footprint standpoint.

Next part on our series: Breakeven point for ebooks vs. books

Here are the parts of the series that were released so far:

Part 1 - production
Part 2 - energy efficiency
Part 3 - packaging
Part 4 - restricted substances
Part 5 - recycling

More resources on how green is the iPad can be found on our website at

More resources on the ebooks vs. physical books environmental debate can be found on our website at

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

No comments: