SAN FRANCISCO — Apple is offering free recycling of all its used products and vowing to power all of its stores, offices and data centers with renewable energy to reduce the pollution caused by its devices and online services.
The iPhone and iPad maker is detailing its efforts to cultivate a greener Apple in an environmental section on the company's website that debuted Monday. The site highlights the ways that the Cupertino, Calif., company is increasing its reliance on alternative power sources and sending less electronic junk to landfills.
Apple had already been distributing gift cards at some of its 420 worldwide stores in exchange for iPhones and iPods still in good enough condition to be resold. Now, all of the company's stores will recycle any Apple product at no charge. Gift cards won't be handed out for recycled products deemed to have little or no resale value.
The offer covers a wide array of electronics that aren't supposed to be dumped in landfills because of the toxins in them. In the past seven years alone, Apple has sold more than 1 billion iPhones, iPods, iPads and Mac computers.
Technology products and services accounted for about 2 percent of worldwide emissions in 2012, roughly the same as the airline industry, according to statistics cited by environmental protection group Greenpeace in a report released this month. Some of biggest electricity demands come from huge data centers that house the stacks of computers that process search requests, store photos and email, and stream video.
These online services, often dubbed "cloud computing," collectively consume more electricity than all but five countries — China, the U.S., Japan, India and Russia.
As the world's largest technology company, Apple is trying to hatch more environmental solutions than problems.
The campaign appears to be more than just public relations stunt, based on Greenpeace's high praise for Apple in its recent review of the technology industry's environmental responsibility.
Among the 19 companies covered in the report, Greenpeace described Apple as "the most innovative and most aggressive in pursuing its commitment to be 100 percent renewably powered."