American multinational technology company Apple has announced a plan to become carbon neutral across its entire business, manufacturing supply chain, and product life cycle by 2030.
In its 2020 Environmental Progress Report, the group has announced a 10-year roadmap to reduce emissions by 75% by 2030 while developing innovative carbon removal solutions for the remaining 25% of its comprehensive footprint.
Apple is already carbon neutral today for corporate emissions worldwide. By achieving the 2030 goal, the company would have brought its entire carbon footprint to net zero 20 years sooner than IPCC targets.
Some of the measures Apple will implement to meet its carbon-neutral goal include:
- Investing in renewable energy
Apple will remain at 100% renewable energy for its operations — focusing on creating new projects and moving its entire supply chain to clean power.
The technology company has commitments from over 70 suppliers to use 100% renewable energy for Apple production. This is equivalent to nearly 8GW in commitments to power the manufacturing of its products. Once completed, these commitments will avoid over 14.3 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually — the equivalent of taking more than 3 million cars off the road each year.
New and completed projects in Arizona, Oregon, and Illinois bring Apple’s renewable capacity for its corporate operations to over 1GW — equivalent to powering over 150,000 homes a year.
Over 80% of the renewable energy that Apple sources for its facilities are now from Apple-created projects, benefitting communities and other businesses.
- Expand investments in energy efficiency
Apple will identify new ways to lower energy use at its corporate facilities and help its supply chain make the same transition.
Through a new partnership with Apple, the US-China Green Fund will invest $100 million in accelerated energy efficiency projects for Apple’s suppliers.
In 2019, the number of facilities participating in Apple’s Supplier Energy Efficiency Programme grew to 92. The facilities avoided over 779,000 annualised metric tons of supply chain carbon emissions.
In 2019, Apple invested in energy efficiency upgrades to over 6.4 million square feet of new and existing buildings, lowering electricity needs by nearly one-fifth and saving the company $27 million.
Apple also wants to help its suppliers to reduce their carbon emissions hence the establishment of an Impact Accelerator.
The Fund will invest in minority-owned businesses that drive positive outcomes Apple’s supply chain and in communities that are disproportionately affected by environmental hazards.
The accelerator is part of Apple’s recently announced $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, focused on efforts that address education, economic equality, and criminal justice reform.
- Carbon removal
Apple is investing in forests and other nature-based solutions around the world to remove carbon from the atmosphere.
The company has announced a first-of-its-kind carbon solutions fund to invest in the restoration and protection of forests and natural ecosystems globally.
In partnership with Conservation International, the company will invest in new projects, building on learnings from existing work like restoring degraded savannas in Kenya and a vital mangrove ecosystem in Colombia.
Through its work with The Conservation Fund, the World Wildlife Fund, and Conservation International, the company has protected and improved the management of over 1 million acres of forests and natural climate solutions in China, the US, Colombia, and Kenya.
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said: “Businesses have a profound opportunity to help build a more sustainable future, one born of our common concern for the planet we share.
“The innovations powering our environmental journey are not only good for the planet — they’ve helped us make our products more energy-efficient and bring new sources of clean energy online around the world. Climate action can be the foundation for a new era of innovative potential, job creation, and durable economic growth. With our commitment to carbon neutrality, we hope to be a ripple in the pond that creates a much larger change.”