Apple announced today that its business is now driven by 100% renewable energy sources. The news is a great victory that the iPhone manufacturer has been working for years through the purchase of green energy bonds and other renewable investments in its supply chain and physical infrastructure. The company's last milestone, announced two years ago, was that 93 percent of its global operations were powered by clean energy.
The announcement comes only a week after Google announced that it now buys enough renewable energy to offset its global energy consumption. Similarly, Apple's global operations, including some suppliers in China and facilities in places without access to clean energy, are technically not 100% renewable, which means that not all the joules or electrons used initially are created by wind, solar or other green energy plants. farms
Apple is not technically driven by 100 percent renewable energy
For example, Apple stores that work with municipal power grids can not use clean energy reliably because once the electricity enters the network, it can no longer determine its origin or cleanliness. As a way to account for that, Apple buys what is known as Renewable Energy Certificates (REC), which are a tradable product that guarantees the cleanliness of an energy source. (Think of it as opposed to a carbon tax.) Apple also invests in wind, solar and other clean energy facilities around the world, builds its own energy sources and ensures that all new offices and plants that build really work. 100 percent clean energy, like the newly opened Apple Park campus. The company says it also puts excess green energy into the network, so it can be used by others.
Apple says its approach differs from others in the technology industry in some key ways. On the one hand, the company says it always seeks to finance and build its own energy projects, and does so for around two-thirds of all its energy needs worldwide. "Where it is not feasible to build our own generation, we sign long-term renewable energy purchase contracts, supporting new local projects that meet our solid principles of renewable energy supply," says the 58-page Environmental Responsibility Report published last year. . "In cases where we can not create new renewable energy projects due to local constraints, we directly buy renewable energy from newer projects in nearby markets, or through green energy programs available." Apple says that when it buys REQ, "we require them to be certified by Green-e Energy and come from the same electricity network – and preferably the same state – as Apple's facilities that support ".
Apple is working to make sure that each of the retail stores, offices, data centers and factories around the world, in the 43 countries in which it operates, operates with 100 percent clean energy. This is not possible today, given the dependence on electricity networks, monopolies of regional services and energy barriers in manufacturing centers such as China, among other factors. But Apple is committed to getting there as fast as it can.
"We are committed to leaving the world better than we found it After years of hard work, we are proud to have reached this important milestone," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. "We will continue to expand the limits 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 progressive sources of renewable energy because we know the future depends of that ".
"We are committed to leaving the world better than we found it."
Apple's press release breaks down some of the numbers and explains in more detail Apple's schedule for its commitment to combat climate change, something Cook has spoken about previously. The chief executive collided notably with Trump in relation to the United States by exiting the Paris climate agreement last year. Cook also told investors in 2014 that they should get rid of their Apple shares if they did not take the company's commitment to green energy and sustainability seriously and questioned how much Apple spends on those projects. Last week, Apple rejected the proposal of the Environmental Protection Agency to revoke the Clean Energy Plan.
"Currently Apple has 25 renewable energy operational projects around the world, with a total of 626 megawatts of generating capacity, with 286 megawatts of online photovoltaic solar power generation in 2017, the largest amount in a year," reads in the Apple press release. "It also has 15 more projects under construction, and once built, more than 1.4 gigawatts of clean renewable energy generation will be distributed in 11 countries."
Since 2014, Apple says that all its data centers have been powered by 100% renewable energy. "And since 2011, all of Apple's renewable energy projects have reduced greenhouse gas (CO2e) emissions by 54 percent from their facilities around the world and have prevented nearly 2.1 million metric tons of CO2 from entering. into the atmosphere, "the statement said.
Update on April 9 at 4:17 PM, Eastern Time: He clarified that Apple, like Google, is not really 100 percent powered by clean energy, but uses the term to indicate that it buys enough green energy to offset its global energy consumption.
Update on April 9 at 5:05 PM ET: Additional details were added about Apple's renewable energy efforts.