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Recent news suggest that, among many other unique capabilities, Apple may also have the famous “Midas touch” (King Midas’ ability, according to Greek mythology, of turning everything he touched into gold).

And no, I’m not referring to Apple’s (also famous) sky-high profits.

In Apple’s most recent environmental responsibility report, the company reports that it has managed to recover over 61 million pounds of steel, aluminium, glass, and other materials. And those other materials include – yes, you guessed – gold. More precisely, 2,204 pounds of gold – at the current prices, roughly GBP 27 million.

This gold is recovered through the Liam robot, which efficiently disassembles returned equipment, separating the various materials and extracting the few milligrams of gold present in each smartphone, mostly in circuit boards and other components.

As mentioned in the video presenting Liam, “true innovation needs considering what happens to a product at every stage of its life cycle”. Recovering these materials represents a source of revenue, but given Apple’s size and profitability, this is not really significant from a financial perspective. However, by avoiding tons of valuable parts to be dumped in landfills, it contributes to Apple’s environmental strategy promoting sustainability.

Indeed, a valuable, sustainability-supporting Midas touch.