What do six Sioux tribes in the US, students in South Africa, Vietnam, and the Philippines, a group of fishing villages in Thailand, the Colombia Santa Ana Child Hospital, and the Nitzana Educational Eco-Village for youth at risk in Israel have in common? They will all be powered by Apple’s renewable energy program. As leaders prepare to land in the UK for the COP26 UN Climate Change summit companies and organizations around the world present their green initiatives and Apple is one of them.
The green tech road has not been an easy one for Apple. In 2007 Apple faced a scandal when Greenpeace revealed that some materials used to manufacture the iPhone were hazardous and toxic. The Apple supply chain has also had its share of criticism for labor conditions, energy, and water use of suppliers. Apple took these issues head-on and worked through the environmental targets to raise its green practices and, as a result, its public perception.
Apple announced support for 10 new renewable energy projects around the world through its Power for Impact program. In the US Apple will work with a Power Authority formed by six Sioux tribes to develop and operate wind-power facilities. In South Africa, the company brought access to 3,500 houses off the grid and installed rooftop solar panels to provide power for a school for the visually impaired. In Nigeria, the primary healthcare of the state of Ondo and houses in the region will get solar power systems. Apple announced similar programs for communities in Colombia, Isreal, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and other regions, adding to their green portfolio.
Photo via Apple.
Apple’s green energy community program is part of the company’s bigger picture, not only in environment but in energy as a better business. Apple offices have transitioned to 100% clean energy and the company works to secure sustainability across its supply chain, manufacturers, and consumers. The company focuses on the use of recycled materials for production and engages with its users to return old products in exchange for new ones.
The efforts made by Apple to lead in sustainable green-tech are numerous and equivalent to the size and magnitude of their operations. The company recognizes there is still much work to be done. “Apple strives to bring our emissions down as low as possible. But there are some emissions we can’t yet avoid,” the company said in a statement. They say the solution for the emissions that cannot be avoided is to invest in “wild ideas for carbon removal.”
Working with Conservation International CI and Goldman Sachs the $200 million Restore Funds makes investments in climate solutions that generate financial returns. This shows that Apple sees green energy and green tech from a business perspective. The truth is that carbon trading, solar and wind energy, making sure a supply chain is green and ethical, and using recycling material to build new products is today not a trend, nor a radical green idea, but just good business.