Aluminium is a key material in many of Apple’s most popular products, and for more than 130 years, it’s been produced the same way. That is, until now.
Aluminium giants Alcoa Corporation and Rio Tinto Aluminium today announced a joint venture to commercialise patented technology that eliminates direct greenhouse gas emissions from the traditional smelting process, a key step in aluminium production. This is a revolutionary advancement in the manufacturing of one of the world’s most widely used metals.
As part of Apple’s commitment to reducing the environmental impact of its products through innovation, the company helped accelerate the development of this technology. And Apple has partnered with both aluminium companies, and the Governments of Canada and Quebec, to collectively invest a combined $144 million to future research and development.
“Apple is committed to advancing technologies that are good for the planet and help protect it for generations to come,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We are proud to be part of this ambitious new project, and look forward to one day being able to use aluminium produced without direct greenhouse gas emissions in the manufacturing of our products.”
Today’s announcement in Saguenay, Quebec, which was attended by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and Apple Senior Director Sarah Chandler, involved research and development that has spanned decades. Apple’s involvement started in 2015, when three of its engineers went in search of a cleaner, better way of mass producing aluminium.
After meeting with the biggest aluminium companies, independent labs and startups around the world, Apple engineers Brian Lynch, Jim Yurko and Katie Sassaman found their answer at Alcoa Corporation.