Environmental Angle: Sustainability in iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro

Environmental Angle: Sustainability in iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro

Paula Napolitano |

Apple made environmental sustainability a key focus of its 'Wonderlust' event, which unveiled the new iPhone 15 lineup, including the iPhone 15 Pro. This all forms part of the company's wider aim of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. Here, we take a closer look at the sustainability, comparing the iPhone 15 Pro with the iPhone 14 Pro.

Lifecycle Analysis

First, it is important to explain that one of the key ways that sustainability in tech is measured is through a product lifecycle analysis. Essentially, this is a breakdown of the different stages of the product lifecycle, from sourcing the materials and producing the product, right the way through to use and eventual disposal.

As ScienceDirect explains, the typical stages of a product lifecycle analysis are:  

  • Extracting raw materials 
  • Manufacturing 
  • Distribution/transportation 
  • Product use 
  • Recycling/disposal 

iPhone 15 Pro: Sustainable Features

As stated, Apple has placed an emphasis on environmental sustainability with the release of the iPhone 15 Pro. Some of the key sustainability features include 100% recycled cobalt in the battery, which is a first for the brand, and 99% fibre-based, sustainable packaging, moving the company closer to its 100% target for 2025.

iPhone 14 Pro: Sustainability Initiatives

When it was released in 2022, the iPhone 14 Pro was also sold while promoting a number of Apple sustainability initiatives. Examples highlighted in the Product Environmental Report include using 95% fibre-based packaging, 100% recycled gold in the wire of the cameras and 100% recycled rare earth elements in the phone's magnets.
Manufacturing Processes

Manufacturing for the iPhone 14 placed a focus on green technology and more sustainable manufacturing methods. These included using safer cleaners and degreasers, while the final assembly supplier sites were all required to produce zero landfill waste. All of these processes still apply to the manufacturing process used for the iPhone 15 Pro.

Materials and Recycling

The iPhone 14 Pro marked a significant step on Apple's journey towards eventually sourcing only renewable or recycled materials. The wires of the cameras were made from 100% recycled gold, the solder of multiple printed circuit boards was made from 100% recycled tin, while 15 components were made from at least 35 percent recycled plastic. 

With the release of the iPhone 15 Pro, Apple sustainability initiatives went a step further in relation to materials sourcing. The phones all contain 20 percent recycled or renewable content, while the iPhone 15 Pro models also make use of 100% recycled aluminium for the phone's internal structural frame, 100% recycled copper for the main logic board and, as previously stated, 100% recycled cobalt in the battery for the first time.

Both models feature many recyclable materials and both are mercury-free, PVC-free and use arsenic-free display glass. The resale of iPhones is an alternative to recycling and you can find refurbished phones in the Wisetek Store.

Energy Efficiency

Technically speaking, the overall energy efficiency of the iPhone 14 Pro, across the whole lifecycle, was slightly better than the iPhone 15 Pro. An iPhone 14 Pro emits 65kg of carbon dioxideemits 65kg of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere during its lifecycle, compared with 66kg for the iPhone 15 Pro. However, this is a limited view, because the phone features technical improvements that are inevitably going to increase carbon emissions over the full lifecycle. 

In its Product Environmental Report for the iPhone 15 Pro, Apple claims that the baseline CO2 emissions would have been 26kg higher than that, if not for its drive towards more energy-efficient smartphones. For instance, unlike with the iPhone 14 Pro, 38% of manufacturing electricity for the iPhone 15 Pro comes from supplier clean energy projects.

Packaging and Transportation

When people think about more sustainable manufacturing, the focus is usually on the device itself, but packaging and transportation play a vital role when it comes to sustainability in tech. Both the iPhone 14 Pro and 15 Pro feature sustainable packaging, with the main difference being the move to this being 99% fibre-based with the iPhone 15 Pro, compared to 95% with the iPhone 14 Pro. In both cases, 100% of the wood fibre used comes from sustainable sources.

Longevity and Repairability

Aside from creating energy-efficient smartphones, sustainability relies on phones that provide good longevity and repairability. This means consumers do not need to upgrade their phones as often and also means phones can be resold. Both the iPhone 14 Pro and 15 Pro offer good longevity. The devices offer IP68 water and dust resistance, which prolongs life, while iOS update support lasts for many years.

An article published by MacWorld states that software support for iPhones typically lasts around eight to ten years, while hardware support usually lasts five to seven years. To provide some perspective, at the time of writing in 2023, iOS 12 is still supported, meaning the oldest iPhone still supported by Apple is the iPhone 5s.

Consumer Impact and Choices

Ultimately, although Apple has a responsibility to make eco-friendly iPhones, truly sustainable iPhones are only actually possible if consumers make choices that are good for the environment. This can include not upgrading to a new phone unnecessarily and recycling old phones or selling them. It can also include making the decision to purchase a high-quality refurbished phone from a reliable supplier, like Wisetek Store, rather than always choosing a brand-new phone.

About Wisetek Store

Wisetek Store aims to provide access to quality, affordable and dependable refurbished phones. We are passionate about sustainable and green technology. Factually, purchasing a refurbished phone that is still in full working order is much more sustainable than turning to brand new devices every time. All devices we sell are put through extensive testing, are repaired whenever necessary and are sold to meet an "as new" standard.


The releases of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro both represented significant milestones in Apple's drive towards eco-friendly iPhones, which use sustainable packaging and recyclable materials. Ultimately, the brand is aiming to become carbon neutral by 2030 and while lifecycle carbon emissions still have room for reduction, both of these models are significantly more sustainable iPhones than models from previous generations.

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