Apple has announced that 110 of its manufacturing partners are moving to 100% renewable energy for their Apple production. This accounts for some 8 gigawatts of clean energy which will ultimately reduce CO2 emissions by more than 15 million metric tons per year. To put that into context, it is the equivalent of taking 3.4 million cars off the road.
Apple is also investing in renewable energy projects for upstream emissions, as well as a major energy storage project in California to pilot new solutions for renewable infrastructure.
“We are firmly committed to helping our suppliers become carbon neutral by 2030 and are thrilled that companies who’ve joined us span industries and countries around the world, including Germany, China, the US, India, and France,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president for Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives.
“In a year like no other, Apple continued to work with a global network of colleagues, companies, and advocates to help make our environmental efforts and everything we do a force for good in people’s lives – and to work alongside the communities most impacted by climate change.”
Apple unveiled its plan to become carbon neutral across its entire business, manufacturing supply chain, and product life cycle by 2030 last July. Since then, Apple has significantly increased the number of its suppliers moving to renewable energy. Apple say that by 2030, every device sold will have net zero climate impact.
Apple’s supplier commitments and global energy projects
In Europe, projects include a wind power purchase agreement from DSM Engineering Materials in the Netherlands and a solar carport from STMicroelectronics in Morocco is supporting regional energy production.
In the US, Alpha and Omega Semiconductor, Marian, The Chemours Company, and Trinseo all recently committed to the programme. In China, 15 suppliers have joined the efforts since July.
Sharing the experience gained through Apple’s own transition, the company introduces suppliers to resources and training materials with country-specific information to guide them in their road to renewables.
In some markets, suppliers have limited access to clean energy. Apple created the China Clean Energy Fund, which enables Apple and its suppliers to invest in clean energy projects totalling more than one gigawatt of renewable energy in China.
Apple also connects suppliers with opportunities to buy renewable energy directly from project developers and utilities around the globe.
Apple energy storage and 2030 progress
Apple is building one of the largest battery projects in the US. California Flats is a grid-scale energy storage project capable of storing 240 megawatt-hours of energy – enough to power over 7,000 homes for one day. This is in addition to the company’s 130-megawatt solar farm that provides renewable energy in California, storing energy generated during the day and using it when needed.
Storage is one of the major drawbacks of wind and solar power as they are not reliable sources. One solution is energy storage, and Apple is investing in research into new storage technologies.
Apple claims its carbon footprint has already decreased by 40 per cent as it moves towards cleaner energy.