As the world’s top tech company prepares to launch the iPhone 7 today, we take a look at the strides it has made in the realms of sustainability.
Renewable Data Centres
All of Apple’s data centres have been powered by renewable energy since 2013. The structures which house the computing infrastructure for features like Siri, iTunes and the App Store are powered by energy that is either generated onsite or purchased from external providers.
Three of the company’s US-based data centres — in Oregon, North Carolina and Nevada — earned top level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the US Green Building Council.
Last year, Apple entered into a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with PV developer First Solar Inc. The $848 million deal will see the tech titan receive power from 130MW of First Solar’s California Flats Solar Project in Monterey County, California. Construction on the solar farm is set to be complete by the end of this year.
Partnering for the planet
As many Apple products are manufactured in China, the company launched a programme in 2015 aimed at helping its partners there become more energy-efficient. The initiative will see the company working alongside its Chinese suppliers to install more than 2GW of clean energy in the coming years.
Lens Technology, a manufacturer of flat glass which produces components for Apple products, announced last month that it is going to power all of its operations using renewables.
By the time operations commence at Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino, California next year, the roof of the facility will be blanketed in solar panels. Earlier this summer it was revealed that the company will sell the excess energy it generates at its headquarters, and other locations, to wholesale energy markets.
In June, a subsidiary named Apple Energy LLC applied to the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commision to sell power from its solar farms, hydroelectric plants and biogas facilities across the country.
Last year, the company claimed to have powered a staggering 93 percent of its operations using renewable energy. It is working to reduce it carbon footprint across its operations, from manufacturing to product use and transport. While there is no established timeline for reaching 100 percent renewable energy or carbon neutrality, the company has stated its commitment to preserving the planet for future generations.