Apple announced its next-generation smartwatch models would all have a “carbon neutral” option

For Apple, making a product “carbon neutral” means that it changed its operations

including manufacturing, packaging and shipping — to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions

It was able to drive emissions associated with a single watch down from 36.7 kg to 8.1 kg

In order to call its watches “carbon neutral” without being able to eliminate all of the emissions

Apple bought carbon credits to compensate for the remaining 8.1 kg of emissions, or about 22%

Apple is transparent about all of this carbon accounting in its environmental report for the watch.

Carbon credits are certificates that individuals, businesses and corporations can purchase

that represent a certain amount of greenhouse gases reduced, avoided, or removed from the atmosphere.

Depending on who you talk to, dubbing a product “carbon neutral” when the accounting requires

buying carbon credits is either Apple acting responsibly and doing the best it can to contribute to climate

The distance between those two analyses is substantial and virtually irreconcilable

If you want to be highest ambition, taking that 22% and buying high-quality, high-integrity carbon credits