Renewable energy is now used to power all of Apple‘s retail stores, offices and data centres in 43 countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, China and India.
Although not all of its facilities are connected to clean energy directly in some cases, the company is placing renewables back into the grid to offset the fossil fuels that it uses up.
In a statement released yesterday, Apple also reported that nine more of its manufacturing partners have committed to power all of their Apple production with 100 per cent clean energy.
“We’re committed to leaving the world better than we found it,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “After years of hard work we’re proud to have reached this significant milestone.”
“We’re going to keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the materials in our products, the way we recycle them, our facilities and our work with suppliers to establish new creative and forward-looking sources of renewable energy because we know the future depends on it,” he continued.
Renewable energy powered by 25 regional projects
The developments come as part of Apple’s ongoing commitment to combat climate change, which has seen it establish 25 operational renewable energy projects around the world.
These include solar arrays and wind farms, as well as emerging technologies like biogas fuel cells, micro-hydro generation systems and energy storage technologies.
Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino is powered by 100 per cent renewable energy from multiple sources. The design, by Foster + Partners, utilises a 17-megawatt onsite rooftop solar installation, four megawatts of biogas fuel cells, and is controlled by a microgrid with battery storage. It also gives clean energy back to the public grid during periods of low occupancy.
To address upstream manufacturing emissions the brand developed 485 megawatts of wind and solar projects across six provinces of China, while in Singapore, where land is scarce, it adapted and built its renewable energy on 800 rooftops.
A partnership with a local utility in Reno, Nevada has allowed the brand to develop four new projects totaling 320 megawatts of solar PV generation over the last four years, and its data centre in Maiden, North Carolina, is supported by projects that generate 244 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy per year – the equivalent to the amount of energy used by 17,906 North Carolina homes.
Collectively, the 25 projects have a generation capacity of 626 megawatts, with 286 megawatts of solar PV generation coming online in 2017, its most ever in one year.
15 renewable energy projects in construction
The brand has a further 15 projects in construction, which once built, will bring the total amount of clean renewable energy generation to over 1.4 gigawatts spread across 11 countries.
Projects currently in development include a state-of-the-art data centre in Waukee, Iowa, that will run entirely on renewable energy from day one; a wind farm in Prineville, Oregon; two new data centres in Denmark; and a partnership with a solar company in Japan that will see the installation of over 300 rooftop solar systems.
Apple said its renewable energy projects improve the energy options for local communities, states and even entire countries. Since 2014, all of Apple’s data centres have been powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, and since 2011, the brand reported that all of its renewable energy projects have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 54 per cent from its facilities worldwide.
Apple “setting an example” for its manufacturing partners
As part of the announcement, Apple also reported that 23 of its suppliers are now committed to operating on 100 per cent renewable energy, including nine new suppliers.
It said that altogether, clean energy from supplier projects helped avoid over 1.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted in 2017, the equivalent of taking more than 300,000 cars off the road.
In addition, 85 of its suppliers have registered for Apple’s Clean Energy Portal, an online platform that Apple developed to help suppliers identify commercially viable renewable energy solutions in regions around the world.