Apple Watch Series 9 is the company's first-ever carbon-neutral product, but there's more

Apple Watch Series 9 press shots
(Image credit: Apple)
iPHONE 15: What you need to know

Apple launched two new Apple Watches at its "Wonderlust" event this week, the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2. Although both come with some significant upgrades, the most interesting and welcome new development in our eyes is that they're Apple's first carbon-neutral products.

Since the official announcement, Apple has published more details about the criteria these Apple Watches had to meet in order to be considered carbon neutral – a term that may seem to have one clear definition but tends to be changeable depending on who you ask. This includes:

"100 percent clean electricity for manufacturing and product use, 30 percent recycled or renewable material by weight, and 50 percent of shipping without the use of air transportation. These combined efforts result in at least a 75 percent reduction in product emissions for each model." 

The carbon neutral certification for both wearables comes from SCS Global Services and applies to any aluminum Apple Watch Series 9 and SE models when paired with a new Sport Loop. And the Apple Watch Ultra 2 when paired with a Trail Loop or Alpine Loop. 

So be sure to make sure you get the right pairing if the carbon-neutral certification is a deal-breaker for you. And, if you want to upgrade to a new carbon-neutral model, you can use Apple's Trade In scheme, which means Apple will refurbish your old device for a new owner, or recycle it for free.

Another step towards carbon neutrality

Apple refers to the new Apple Watches as a "milestone" and a big step towards its 2030 goal of making every single one of its products carbon neutral – yes, that includes the global supply chain, too.

It's not just the latest Apple Watches that are part of Apple's plan, but other recent changes are worth drawing attention to as well. For example, Apple has also stopped using leather across all of its product lines, which includes iPhone accessories and Apple Watch bands.

Instead, it'll replace leather with a new material called FineWoven, made from durable twill, which Apple says is made from 68 percent post-consumer recycled content with a suede-like texture. 

Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 are available to pre-order from Apple right now and will be released on September 22. 

We're covering all the Apple iPhone 15 event news and reactions now that Wonderlust is over. Don't miss all our iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple Watch Series 9, Apple Watch Ultra 2, iOS 17and watchOS 10 coverage so far.

Becca Caddy

Becca Caddy is a contributor to iMore, as well as a freelance journalist and author. She’s been writing about consumer tech and popular science for more than a decade, covering all kinds of topics, including why robots have eyes and whether we’ll experience the overview effect one day. She’s particularly interested in VR/AR, wearables, digital health, space tech and chatting to experts and academics about the future. She’s contributed to TechRadar, T3, Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, Inverse and many more. Her first book, Screen Time, came out in January 2021 with Bonnier Books. She loves science-fiction, brutalist architecture, and spending too much time floating through space in virtual reality. Last time she checked, she still holds a Guinness World Record alongside iMore Editor in Chief Gerald Lynch for playing the largest game of Tetris ever made, too.