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Apple now powered by 100% renewable energy - will suppliers follow suit?

By Julia Gabel
Tue 10 Apr 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

As a part of Apple’s commitment to combat climate change, all of the global technology giant’s global facilities are now powered with 100% clean energy.

This includes data centers, retail stores, offices and co-located facilities across 43 countries, including China, India, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Apple CEO Tim Cook says that after years of hard work, Apple is proud to have reached a significant milestone.

“We're committed to leaving the world better than we found it.”

“We’re going to keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the materials in our products, the way we recycle them, our facilities and our work with suppliers to establish new creative and forward-looking sources of renewable energy because we know the future depends on it.”

Apple’s clean energy projects

Apple currently has 25 operational renewable energy projects around the world, totalling 626 megawatts of generation capacity, with 286 megawatts of solar PV generation coming online in 2017.

The company also has 15 more projects in construction.

Once built, over 1.4 gigawatts of clean renewable energy generation will be spread across 11 countries.

Apple’s data centers have been powered by 100% renewable energy since 2014. Since 2011, Apple’s renewable energy projects have reduced greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e) by 54%, and prevented nearly 2.1 million metric tons of CO2e from entering the atmosphere.

Apple’s renewable energy projects include:

Apple recently announced plans to build a 400,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art data center in Waukee, Iowa, that will run entirely on renewable energy from day one.

In Japan, Apple is partnering with local solar company Daini Denryoku to install over 300 rooftop solar systems that will generate 18,000 megawatt-hours of clean energy every year — enough to power more than 3,000 Japanese homes.

Apple’s data center in Maiden, North Carolina, is supported by projects that generate 244 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy per year, which is equivalent to the energy used by 17,906 North Carolina homes.

In Singapore, where land is scarce, Apple adapted and built its renewable energy on 800 rooftops.

Apple is currently constructing two new data center in Denmark that will run on 100% renewable energy from day one.

Apple Park, Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino, is now the largest LEED Platinum-certified office building in North America. It is powered by 100% renewable energy from multiple sources, including a 17-megawatt onsite rooftop solar installation and four megawatts of biogas fuel cells, and controlled by a microgrid with battery storage. It also gives clean energy back to the public grid during periods of low occupancy.

Over 485 megawatts of wind and solar projects have been developed across six provinces of China to address upstream manufacturing emissions.

In Prineville, Oregon, the company signed a 200-megawatt power purchase agreement for an Oregon wind farm, the Montague Wind Power Project, set to come online by the end of 2019.

In Reno, Nevada, Apple created a partnership with the local utility, NV Energy, and over the last four years developed four new projects totalling 320 megawatts of solar PV generation.

A commitment from suppliers

The company also announced that nine additional manufacturing partners have committed to power all of their Apple production with 100% clean energy, bringing the total number of supplier commitments to 23. 

Apple claims that altogether clean energy from its supplier projects helped avoid over 1.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted in 2017 - the equivalent of taking more than 300,000 cars off the road.

Apple's new supplier commitments include:

  • Arkema, a designer of high-performance bio-based polymers, which manufactures for Apple at its facilities in France, the United States, and China.
  • DSM Engineering Plastics, which manufactures polymers and compounds in the Netherlands, Taiwan, and China that are used in many Apple products, including connectors and cables.
  • ECCO Leather, the first soft goods supplier to commit to 100% clean energy for its Apple production. The leather that ECCO produces for Apple is of European origin, with tanning and cutting occurring at facilities in the Netherlands and China.
  • Finisar, a US industry-leading producer of optical communication components and vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), which power some of Apple’s most popular new features like Face ID, Portrait mode selfies and Animoji.
  • Luxshare-ICT, a supplier of accessories for Apple products. Luxshare-ICT’s production for Apple is predominantly located in Eastern China.
  • Pegatron, which assembles a number of products, including iPhone, at its two factories in Shanghai and Kunshan, China.
  • Quadrant, a supplier of magnets and magnetic components in a number of Apple’s products.
  • Quanta Computer, one of the first Mac suppliers to commit to 100% renewable energy for Apple production.
  • Taiyo Ink Mfg. Co., which produces solder masks for printed circuit boards in Japan.
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