Apple Explains iPhone ‘Reincarnation’ in Quirky Earth Day Video

Apple has released a new animated Earth Day 2017 video — a month after the fact — that shows off how the company could achieve a sustainable and environmentally friendly “closed loop supply chain.”

The video, which can be seen below, is titled “Does my iPhone believe in reincarnation” and stars animated versions of Liam, Cupertino’s 29-armed recycler robot, and three Apple executives connected to the company’s green initiatives: Sarah Chandler, Director of Operations and Environmental Initiatives; Lisa Jackson, VP of Environment, Policy and Social initiatives; and T.J. Tyler, another member of Apple’s Environmental Initiatives department. The whimsically illustrated clip is animated in the same style as Apple’s other Earth Day 2017 videos, which the company published on April 20. Other topics included why Apple makes it own sweat (video), and Apple’s ultimate goal of producing zero waste in production (video).

The three executives explain how Liam’s recycling capabilities allow Apple to extract parts and materials from recycled iPhones. These materials, according to Tyler, can be put back into Apple’s supply chain again and again. This cycle of disassembly and assembly, Chandler contends, could be used to reduce Cupertino’s dependence on new raw materials extracted from the earth. “That’s the goal,” Chandler added. “And that’s really exciting.”

The video appears to have been released in connection to a talk Chandler gave on May 25 at the Sustainable Brands Detroit conference, aptly titled “In Pursuit of a Closed Loop Supply Chain.” According to the talk’s page on the SB website, Chandler is spearheading Apple’s effort in creating such a supply chain, where products are only assembled using “renewable resources and recycled materials.”

Apple is well-known for its commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly policies. Earlier this year, the company was named the world’s most environmentally friendly tech company by Greenpeace for the third year in a row, and the company’s green ambitions stretch from its data centers to its new Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino.

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