Apple's Cheapest iPhone Will Use Its Most High-Tech Metal

Apple has made huge investments in Green Bonds, and now, it has revealed just what $4.7 billion is capable of doing for the environment. The company has announced that this investment was able to jump-start the development of new eco-friendly technologies, including low-carbon manufacturing and new recycling methods. Those investments are part of Apple's mission to reduce its carbon footprint on the planet. As a follow-up, Apple has also announced that the future versions of the iPhone SE may use aluminum that has been smelted without producing any greenhouse gas emissions. This is a surprising twist for Apple's cheapest phone, implying that it may one day be equipped with some of its most cutting-edge technology.

Researching the technology that may one day be found in the iPhone SE would not be possible if not for Apple's massive Green Bonds investments. Since 2016, these bonds have been used to power eco-friendly research. As part of this, Apple is buying carbon-free aluminum that is the first of such kind to be manufactured outside of a lab on a large scale and without producing any carbon emissions while being smelted.

Like any large manufacturer, Apple should be conscious of its impact on the environment, and for the most part, it is. Lisa Jackson, the vice president of Apple's Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives department, said in the announcement: "Our investments are advancing the breakthrough technologies needed to reduce the carbon footprint of the materials we use, even as we move to using only recyclable and renewable materials across our products to conserve the earth's finite resources."

Apple wants to be carbon-neutral in the near future

In order to achieve green aluminum smelting and one day put that aluminum into the iPhone SE, Apple has teamed up with Elysis, the company responsible for the world's first aluminum smelting process that doesn't produce carbon emissions. Instead of greenhouse gases, the technology only results in producing oxygen. Apple notes that this is a huge milestone in the production of aluminum, and as such, a large step for the planet as a whole — after all, aluminum is widely used not just by Apple, but by countless manufacturers all over the globe.

The first batch of low-carbon aluminum that Elysis will produce is going to be purchased by Apple with the intention of using it in the iPhone SE, the company's most budget-friendly iteration of the iPhone. With that said, don't hold your breath for this just yet — Apple doesn't specify when this might happen. On the other hand, it's very likely that Apple will use this aluminum for something, considering the staggering investment it has made in this technology.

Apple has a huge environmental goal to reach by 2030 — being fully carbon neutral across its entire supply chain. To that end, it has been making eco-friendly choices for several years now. Since 2015, Apple has been using recycled aluminum in some of its products. The company claims that this move alone was responsible for the reduction of carbon emissions from aluminum production by 70%. Of course, this only applies to the emissions Apple itself would have been responsible for. With the new joint venture and partnership with Elysis, Apple may be able to take things a step further and move from just recycling to producing more eco-friendly material.