Apple has been considered for several years as the world’s most “green” technology company, according to a Greenpeace ranking. However, the company had a complicated relationship years ago with environmentalism and green energy. Everything has changed after considerable efforts to fully embrace renewable energy.
In the fall of 2016, the company joined a global initiative called RE100, claiming a 100% renewable energy target. This proclamation followed a 2015 agreement that made the tech giant Apple the largest corporate renewable energy company in the United States.
Apple already uses 100% renewable energy
According to a company press release, as well as a detailed feature of Fast Company, the tech giant Apple’s facilities now operate entirely on green power. This includes data centres, Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino, retail stores and other facilities spread across 43 countries.The 100% value, however, applies only to Apple’s own facilities, not its various production partners and other operations. But Apple has also persuaded a total of 23 companies – including nine new ones – from its supply chain to make a 100% promise of renewable energy.
The achievement was achieved in part by the Cupertino company’s investments in solar and wind farms near many of its data centres, as well as large solar installations on its own buildings, such as those at its Apple Park headquarters.
In total, Apple has 25 renewable energy projects worldwide, producing 626 megawatts of generating capacity. The company is working to bring 15 more projects online in 11 countries, collectively capable of producing 1.4 gigawatts of clean and renewable energy.
“We are committed to leaving the world better than what we find. After years of hard work, we are proud to have reached this significant milestone. We will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible with the materials of our products, how we recycle them, our facilities and our work with suppliers to establish new and renewable sources of renewable energy because we know future depends on it.” CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.
A long green path
Despite having a public environmental responsibility campaign that includes regular progress reports, announcements and mentions on product presentations, Apple has been in conflict with activists for years. Greenpeace, for example, would rate the company near the bottom of its list of greenest companies in the consumer electronics industry.
That began to change in 2007 when Steve Jobs released an open letter entitled “The Greener Apple,” with a series of plans related to the removal of mercury from the company’s products, as well as recycling programs.
The company has accelerated these efforts with Cook. Apple continued to push the green power button, hired Lisa Jackson, a former EPA administrator in the Obama administration, as vice president of sustainability and government affairs, and earlier this year the company offered a billion-dollar bonus to finance green energy products.