Apple’s Green Comedy: A Sustainability Report Like No Other

Sep 18, 2023
Content MarketingVideo Production

Imagine being handed the task of making a corporate sustainability report entertaining.

Now, imagine condensing that entire document into a five-minute comedy sketch. Sounds ambitious, right?

Well, leave it to Apple, a company deeply rooted in the entertainment industry, to be the first to take on such a challenge. Their film, 2030 Status | Mother Nature aims to be more than just another corporate social responsibility (CSR) stunt. It’s a creative endeavour that seeks to address the growing scepticism and anger towards companies that set lofty CSR goals without a concrete plan to achieve them.

In 2020, Apple promised to bring its entire carbon footprint to net zero by 2030 — through innovations in materials, clean energy, low-carbon shipping, and restoring natural ecosystems. Now Mother Nature needs a status report from Apple’s environmental team. And it better be good.

A Welcome Change or a Clever Distraction?

The film offers a curated view of Apple’s Corporate Sustainability Goals (CSG), showcasing the tangible steps the company has already taken towards sustainability. The reception has been mixed, but it seems most people are welcoming this action-oriented approach. However, there are also the die-hard cynics who are quick to point out the convenient omissions and areas where Apple falls short of holding themselves accountable.

The Impact on Apple’s Share Price

Interestingly, Apple’s share price has experienced a dip since the film’s release during the iPhone 15 event held on September 12th, 2023. While it’s tempting to draw a correlation, it’s more likely that the fluctuation is tied to the tangible product announcements made on the day rather than the sustainability report itself.

Overview of Apple share prices in the days following the iPhone 15 event (NASDAQ)
Overview of Apple share prices in the days following the iPhone 15 event (NASDAQ)

The Creative Genius Behind Apple’s Approach

What sets this film apart is its creative approach to storytelling. By personifying Mother Nature through the talented Octavia Spencer, the film introduces an external force that drives the conflict in the story, making it an entertaining watch. But the creativity doesn’t stop there. The film also subtly enhances Tim Cook’s personal brand by making him the butt of their own joke. Jokingly comparing Cook to Henry David Thoreau and positioning him as an unlikely underdog under the scrutiny of Mother Nature allowed Cook to appear humble, vulnerable and gritty.

Mother Nature stands and addresses the boardroom

Apple’s 2030 Status | Mother Nature is a groundbreaking attempt to redefine what a sustainability report can be. It’s a piece grounded in actions and measurable outcomes, but it also doesn’t shy away from using humour and storytelling to engage its audience. Whether you’re a fan or a critic, one thing is clear: Apple has set a new standard for how companies can communicate their sustainability efforts. And in doing so, they’ve shown that even the most serious topics can benefit from a touch of creative genius.

So, the next time you’re handed a seemingly mundane task, remember Apple’s approach. Who knows? You might just find a way to turn the ordinary into something extraordinary.

Feeling inspired? Take the next step in your brand’s corporate communications.