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Apple's Energy 100 Percent Clean, Renewable, Company Says

10 April 2018

That includes the company's retail stores, offices, data centers and co-located facilities in 43 countries, Apple said in a press release Monday. Last year, it was close at 96%, but now it's finally hit the magic 100 number.

"We're not spending any more than we would have", Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president for environment, policy and social initiatives, said in an interview.

The world added more solar power capacity than fossil fuels in 2017, a sign of the sector's strength.

This news came just a week after Google's claim that it now purchases enough renewable energy to offset its global energy consumption. Its data centers are flanked by fields of solar panels.

As of 2014, all of Apple's data centers have been powered by clean energy, and the company said that since 2011, its renewable energy projects have reduced greenhouse gas emissions from its facilities worldwide by 54 percent. In 24 countries where it operates, Apple had reached the 100 percent renewable level, and almost 100 percent of the paper used in product packaging was from recycled or "responsibly managed sources". It also gives clean energy back to the public grid during periods of low occupancy.

Interestingly, tech rival Microsoft Corp broke new ground by signing the biggest single corporate solar agreement in USA history earlier this year.

This is Apple supplier Ibiden's solar farm outside Nagoya Japan
This is Apple supplier Ibiden’s solar farm outside Nagoya Japan

Mr Mahu stated that now, renewable energy contributed about one per cent to the national power generation mix, but the focus was to reach 10 per cent by 2030. Twenty-five projects, including wind, solar, and biogas projects generate 626 megawatts of clean energy. The company has 25 operational renewable-energy plants around the world, and 15 more are being built.

Since 2004, the world has invested over $US2.9 trillion into renewable energy.

Being 100% renewable does not mean that every Apple Store is powered by a solar farm, of course.

It's an expensive process to embark on, too: Apple has deals with providers all around the world, and has to work around local limitations such as physical space, weather, and more.

In regard to the supply chain, the story is not as clean.

"Repealing the Clean Power Plan will subject consumers like Apple and our large manufacturing partners to increased investment uncertainty", the California-based company said in the filing. This is up from 14 in 2016 and includes names like Finisar and Pegatron, a key iPhone assembler. Apple is also urging suppliers to follow its lead.

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Apple's Energy 100 Percent Clean, Renewable, Company Says