Apple’s Tim Cook talks trade-in program & renewable energy in GQ Interview

Oct 28, 2019
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Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with GQ magazine for an interview in which he discussed the popularity of the company's trade-in program, environmental friendliness, sustainability rating for third-party products and more. Apple currently uses 100 percent renewable energy for its offices, retail stores and data centers worldwide. The company is working with its suppliers too to convert them to 100 percent renewable energy.

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When asked about whether Apple will is working on categorizing third-party products in Apple Store, based on how sustainable they are, this is what Tim Cook said.

“That is something we’re talking about,” he said. “I don’t want to pre-announce it."

While Apple cannot exactly control what materials third-party companies use to create accessories for iPhone and other devices, a certification, similar to the MFi program, might entice manufacturers to invest more towards sustainable products.

Apple's trade-in program for iPhone and other products has been going on for sometime now, and it is one of the most popular ways for customers to upgrade their devices. Through online or retail Apple Store, an Apple Product can be exchanged for a good price, which can then be used to buy another product. As per Tim, one-third of customers are opting in for the trade-in program.

“This year we've really moved the dial on getting the consumer to think about trade-in,” he said. “We were up to a third or more of the people that come into our stores that are trading in, and this number is trending up. So I think that's a positive sign.”

The devices that are traded-in are either refurbished and sold for a cheaper price, or recycled by the company. Towards this effort, Apple created a robot called Daisy which can disassemble 200 iPhones per hour. The material from these devices can be re-used later to manufacture newer products.

Apple announced their intentions to stop mining the earth for new materials, back in 2017. It was an ambitious effort but progress is showing through product announcements. As an example, Apple is using 100 percent recycled aluminum in the new MacBook Air and Mac mini, along with other products.

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Unlike many other companies, bring green is Apple's top priority. Apple makes sure to bring up their trade-in and recycling programs in their products launch events, along with checklists to highlight the product's environmental friendliness.

The interview is short but interesting. Check out the complete interview over at GQ.

Products mentioned in this post

MacBook Air
MacBook Air
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