Among the many amazing things in Apple’s Environmental Responsibility Report is the fact that in collecting recyclables, the computer giant mined $40 million worth of gold. Gold is a great conductor and highly resistant to corrosion, so it’s a key ingredient in many electronics.
Two-thirds of the 90 million pounds of materials Apple recycling programs collected was reusuable. The 2,200 pounds of gold Apple collected is nothing compared to the 13 million pounds of plastic, but despite Dustin Hoffman’s experience, gold remains far more valuable than plastic. At the current rate the one ton plus of gold would fetch $40 million. Apple states in the report that “environmental responsibility is core to our business.” The company also states that “climate change is real” and estimates its 2015 carbon footprint at 38,400,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.”