Apple Announces iPhone SE to Be Made From Carbon-Free Aluminum

World’s first direct carbon-free aluminum smelting process

Smartphones require a manufacturing process that isn’t exactly easy on the planet, with studies indicating the energy used to build one phone is equal to the energy required to operate it for a decade. Apple is trying to ever-so-slightly change this reality.

Apple has just announced that forthcoming iPhone SE models will be made from carbon-free aluminum, as reported in an official company blog post. In fact, the iPhone SE will benefit from the world’s first direct carbon-free aluminum smelting process outside of a laboratory, thanks to Canadian manufacturing giant Elysis. The hydropower-based smelting process outputs oxygen instead of greenhouse gases, reducing the climate impact of the manufacturing process.

Apple iPhone SE Aluminum


“This is the first time aluminum has been produced at this commercial purity, without any greenhouse gas emission, and at industrial scale,” said Vincent Christ, Elysis’s CEO in the blog post.

There are some caveats here, however, as Apple has not divulged any specific information as to how many iPhone SE products would benefit from this new process. Another potential issue is the design of the phone itself, as the SE only uses aluminum for the frame, with the back dominated by glass. 

Apple has set a goal to create an entirely carbon-neutral product line by 2030. According to the company, aluminum-linked carbon emissions at Apple have dropped almost 70 percent since 2015.

“We are excited to be working alongside Apple on this advancement, which has the potential to make lasting changes in how aluminum is produced,” added Christ.

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