Apple pledges more funds for global clean energy projects and water conservation

Water conservation

Apple has announced it will be ramping up investment to expand its clean energy and water conservation efforts globally. Through these new initiatives, the tech giant will be targeting carbon neutrality across its entire value chain and aiming to replenish all the freshwater used in its operations in high-stress areas by 2030. 

What is Apple doing to achieve its energy objective?

Apple has already made significant strides, with over 18 gigawatts (GW) of clean electricity currently powering its worldwide operations and manufacturing supply chain. This is more than triple what it was in 2020. By 2030, the brand aims to offset every watt of electricity used for charging with an equivalent amount of clean electricity, backed by major investments in renewable energy projects around the world. 

Highlighting specific projects, Apple is investing in solar energy developments in Michigan and Spain, which will generate 132 megawatts (MW) and 105MW, respectively. Moreover, in India, Apple has partnered with CleanMax to set up six rooftop solar projects totalling 14.4MW to support its operations. 

Additionally, Apple is encouraging its global suppliers to switch to clean electricity and achieve carbon neutrality for all operations linked to Apple. Over 320 suppliers, accounting for 95% of Apple’s direct manufacturing spend, have joined this initiative, contributing to 16.5GW of renewable energy in Apple’s supply chain. In China, the China Clean Energy Fund has helped connect Apple suppliers to over 1GW of new renewable projects across 14 provinces. 

Why is Apple doing this? 

Vice President of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives at Apple, Lisa Jackson, has emphasised the brand’s commitment to these objectives. She said that they recognise clean energy and water are foundational to healthy communities and that they are essential building blocks for a responsible business. 

Moreover, she added that the company is racing toward its ambitious 2030 climate goal whilst engaging in the long-term work required to transform electrical grids and restore watersheds to build a cleaner future for everyone. 

What progress has Apple made on its water goal?

In terms of water conservation, Apple is working through partnerships to achieve significant water benefits and savings over the next two decades. These include aquifer restoration and facilitating access to clean drinking water. 

Last year alone, Apple’s suppliers saved more than 12 billion gallons of fresh water, adding to a cumulative total of 76 billion gallons since the launch of Apple’s Supplier Clean Water Programme in 2013.

The brand is also involved in watershed restoration projects in regions facing high stress due to climate change. In Northern California, the company is collaborating with River Partners to restore a 750-acre floodplain. 

This involves planting native vegetation and reconnecting floodplains to enhance climate resilience, with projected freshwater benefits of approximately 5 billion gallons over 20 years. 

In the greater Phoenix area, Apple has partnered with the Salt River Project (SRP). This project aims to protect 30,000 acres of forest from wildfires, supporting the Colorado River Basin’s watershed and securing nearly 2 billion gallons of water benefits.

Final thoughts

Apple’s strategic investments in clean energy and water conservation mark a significant stride towards achieving its ambitious sustainability goals set for 2030. Apple’s financial commitment to the above initiatives is notably supported by its issuance of Green Bonds

Since 2016, approximately $4.7 billion from these bonds have been allocated to fund clean energy projects, the Supplier Clean Energy Programme, and carbon removal efforts through the Restore Fund. This financial strategy highlights Apple’s proactive approach to corporate sustainability and integrating environmental action into its fiscal management and development projects.

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