Apple expands renewable energy, new environmental initiatives in China

Apple today announced an expansion of its renewable energy and environmental protection initiatives in China, including a new multi-year project with World Wildlife Fund to significantly increase responsibly managed forests across China. The new forestland program aims to protect as much as 1 million acres of responsibly managed working forests which provide fiber for pulp, paper and wood products.

Apple’s goal is to achieve a net-zero impact on the world’s supply of sustainable virgin fiber and power all its operations worldwide on 100 percent renewable energy.

“Forests, like energy, can be renewable resources,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environmental Initiatives, in a statement. “We believe we can run on naturally renewable resources and ensure that we protect—and create—as much sustainable working forest as needed to produce the virgin paper in our product packaging. This is an important step toward that goal and our commitment to leave the world better than we found it.”

Apple also announced its intent to expand its industry-leading renewable energy projects to manufacturing facilities in China.

“We’ve set an example by greening our data centers, retail stores and corporate offices, and we’re ready to start leading the way toward reducing carbon emissions from manufacturing,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, in a statement. “This won’t happen overnight — in fact it will take years — but it’s important work that has to happen, and Apple is in a unique position to take the initiative toward this ambitious goal. It is a responsibility we accept. We are excited to work with leaders in our supply chain who want to be on the cutting edge of China’s green transformation.”

Today’s announcements come three weeks after Apple launched its first major solar project in China. Solar installations in Sichuan Province will generate far more energy than needed to power all of Apple’s corporate offices and retail stores in China.

Apple is partnering with Leshan Electric Power Co., Sichuan Development Holding Co., Ltd, Tianjin Tsinlien Investment Holding Co., Ltd, Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor Co., Ltd, and SunPower Corporation on the project encompassing two 20-megawatt solar farms. Together the project will generate up to 80 million kilowatt hours per year of clean energy, enough to power the equivalent of 61,000 Chinese homes. That’s clean energy added to the grid that would otherwise not be there.

The solar projects were carefully designed to minimize their ecological impact and protect the grasslands that support the yak population, which is also important to the local economy. Today 87 percent of Apple’s global operations run on renewable energy, and the Sichuan Province solar project will bring Apple even closer to its commitment to reach 100 percent.

“Apple’s support for this project and its environmental leadership show that protecting forests is not just good for society but important for business,” said Lo Sze Ping, Chief Executive Officer for WWF China, in a statement. “This collaboration between our two organizations will seek to reduce China’s ecological footprint by helping produce more wood from responsibly managed forests within its own borders. Doing so is essential to China, the world’s biggest timber importer. Our hope is this will catalyze a new model of corporate leadership in promoting sustainable forest management and using paper resources more efficiently and responsibly around the world.”

Learn more about Apple’s environmental efforts at www.apple.com/environment.

Apple currently operates 19 corporate offices and 22 retail stores in China, including Hong Kong, directly employing 8,000 people. In total, Apple has helped create and support over 3 million jobs in China, including at least 1.5 million iOS app developer jobs and other positions related to the iOS ecosystem. Developers in China have earned more than $3.4 billion through the worldwide sale of apps on the App Store, with over half of that amount paid in the last 12 months alone. App Store income earned by China’s developers is growing at a faster rate than any other major market in the world.

Source: Apple Inc.

8 Comments

    1. What kind of people down vote those applauding positive change in the world ?

      Are you the same kind of people who honk their horns when a car in front is letting a little old lady reach the other side of the street before proceeding ?

      I mean, geez.

  1. What is the single easiest way for us to sequester carbon on planet Earth? Grow vegetation. Plant a tree in your yard. Bring back all the forests we’ve cut down to the ground then walked away. The more, the faster we grow back the vegetation, the faster we sequester carbon again. I don’t know what this concept is difficult.

    Just don’t grow it and burn it again. We have to get off the carbon fuels if we really want to be renewable and sustainable and survive…

    1. And we need to eradicate termites to really lower CO2 emissions.

      Also, just imagine how methane production could be lowered if only we put a stop to Mexican food.

  2. If it weren’t Apple doing this, would any other manufacturer who contracts out to China? Would China and the companies there do it by themselves? Last I heard, China is finally, after having to cut through the atmosphere there with a Bowie knife, doing somethings about its level of pollution, but, this is the sort of push needed. Now if only the rest of the vendors will follow.

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