As part of Apple’s commitment to addressing climate change, they’ve just launched a new investment fund in China which aims to connect suppliers with renewable energy sources. There will be 10 initial suppliers jointly investing upwards of $300 million into the China Clean Energy Fund over the next 4 years. This fund will aim to generate more than 1 gigawatt of renewable energy in China through developing clean energy projects, which is enough to power nearly 1 million homes.
Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives states: “At Apple, we are proud to join with companies that are stepping up to address the climate challenge…We’re thrilled so many of our suppliers are participating in the fund and hope this model can be replicated globally to help businesses of all sizes make a significant positive impact on our planet.”
The Transition to Clean Energy
Transitioning to clean energy is no simple task, especially for smaller manufacturers or companies of which might not have feasible clean energy sources. The China Clean Energy Fund will aim to give participants greater purchasing power while helping connect manufacturers with more attractive and viable clean energy solutions. What’s more, the China Clean Energy Fund will be managed by DWS Group, a third party of which specializes in sustainable investments.
Earlier this year, Apple announced that its global facilities are 100% powered by clean energy after launching the Supplier Clean Energy Program in 2015. Since then, 23 manufacturing partners across 10 different countries have switched over to 100% clean energy. Apple and their manufacturing partners aim to generate more than 4 gigawatts of new clean energy by 2020, offsetting one-third of their current manufacturing electricity footprint.
“So we’re sourcing lower-carbon materials, partnering with suppliers to reduce their energy use, and helping them switch to renewable energy,” the report states. “We believe that together we can transform the manufacturing process to dramatically reduce emissions.”
“Apple has demonstrated much-needed leadership among IT companies in taking responsibility for the massive carbon footprint of its supply chain in China and other parts of East Asia,” said Gary Cook, Senior Corporate Campaigner for Greenpeace, who spoke to Joshua S. Hill of CleanTechnica via email. “Apple was the first company to extend its 100% renewable commitment to include its supply chain and has made steady progress securing commitments from nearly two dozen of its suppliers to power the Apple portion of its manufacturing lines with renewable energy. Apple’s Clean Energy Fund will hopefully be an important next step, providing a collaborative funding mechanism for Apple’s suppliers to drive renewable energy at a much larger scale than would be possible individually.”
Apple Is Looking at Other Ways to Reduce Greenhouse Emissions
Apple is also considering new ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Back in May, the company invested in a new joint venture with Alcoa Corporation and Rio Tinto Aluminum.
“Apple is committed to advancing technologies that are good for the planet and help protect it for generations to come,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We are proud to be part of this ambitious new project, and look forward to one day being able to use aluminum produced without direct greenhouse gas emissions in the manufacturing of our products.”
These companies reached a breakthrough and have found a way to completely eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the traditional aluminum smelting process.
“This discovery has been long sought in the aluminum industry,” said Alcoa President and CEO Roy Harvey, also stating that it would “take aluminum’s sustainable advantage to a new level with the potential to improve the carbon footprint of a range of products from cars to consumer electronics.”
So as you can see, Apple is really taking steps towards not only reducing their carbon footprint but also providing clean energy sources to manufacturers and individuals worldwide.
The initial suppliers investing in the China Clean Energy Fund include:
- Catcher Technology
- Compal Electronics
- Corning Incorporated
- Golden Arrow
- Sunway Communication