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Published on March 23rd, 2016 | by Joshua S Hill

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Apple Operating At 93% Renewable Electricity Worldwide

March 23rd, 2016 by  

Speaking at Apple’s Monday ‘Loop You In’ event, the company’s VP of environment, Lisa Jackson, claimed 93% of Apple’s facilities worldwide run on renewable electricity.

Apple has been targeting the running of all its facilities — stores, data centers, manufacturing facilities — from 100% renewable energy for a couple of years now, and has enjoyed sharing the news. In 2014, the company revealed that 100% of the electricity used by the company’s US operations was from renewable energy. Apple is also running close to, if not at, 100% for all its data centers around the world as well.

So it comes as no real surprise that Lisa Jackson was able to get up the front of Apple’s ‘Loop You In’ event on Monday to reveal that the company’s goal of 100% renewable electricity is close.

Apple is in fact now powered by 100% renewable electricity in 23 countries around the world, including the US and China.

Lisa Jackson also took time on stage to highlight the company’s reuse and recycling program. When the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus were released last year, Apple highlighted how the two new models save 14% and 16% carbon output compared to the iPhones released the year before.

On Monday, Apple took it a step forward, introducing Liam, a robot with 29 arms built for the sole purpose of disassembling iPhones so that a variety of the components and materials used in the design of the device can be reused and recycled. In fact, Apple claims that Liam can take apart over 1.2 million phones in a year. Unsurprisingly, therefore, Apple has also relaunched its recycle program under a new name, Apple Renew, claiming that “Recycling an Apple product should be as easy as using one.”

 
 
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About the Author

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at about.me for more.



  • ROBwithaB

    Rule #1 of environmental responsibility:

    1. Buy. Less. Stuff.

  • Ronald Brakels

    The material used in phones has a carbon bootprint. Buy any phone and you can be pretty sure a net amount of carbon dioxide was released into the atmosphere making it. How much CO2? I don’t know. But a phone might weigh around 150 grams and if we assume that carbon dioxide released in manufacture is equal to that of fairly dirty aluminium at around 10 times its weight, or roughly twice that of a car per kilogram, then that would come to about 1.5 kilograms of CO2. That’s about 60% of the CO2 released from burning a liter of gasoline and is about the same that results from spending 17 US cents to buy one kilowatt-hour of grid electricity in the Australian state of Victoria.

    Note this only guesswork and you’d want to buy that phone without packaging or a charger. Also, it doesn’t include emissions that result from using it. But it seems pretty clear you should be putting effort into getting rooftop solar and improving energy and fuel efficiency before getting rid of phones.

    Unless of course you don’t like phones, in which case getting rid of it would make sense.

    • Hazel

      It’s a lot worse than the 150 grams. Apple takes aluminum plate and machines the phone case out of it, so multiply your numbers by about ten. Same for Apple laptops.

      • Ronald Brakels

        The aluminium shavings will be recycled and it is producing the aluminum in the first place from ore which is the most energy intensive step. And milled aluminium has the advantage of being stronger than stamped so they can use less of it, though that fact is already included in its weight. So milling will require more energy and CO2 emissions, but not 10 times more.

    • Larmion

      Tip: you’re forgetting about the semiconductor manufacturing. The aluminum makes up a negligible part of the total carbon footprint.

      • Ronald Brakels

        You’ll have to explain to me why the workings of mobile phones are so carbon intensive. After all, a Raspberry Pi packs a lot of computing power and costs $25 and so clearly significantly less than $25 worth of energy went into its construction. And I see I can buy a 16 gigabyte phone here in Australia for $30 US. Obviously only a small portion of the cost of total cost of these items goes towards paying for the fossil fuels used to produce them.

        • Peter

          Isn’t the cheap phone manufactured using older process nodes and equipment in already amortized factories? If so, then its production cost won’t need to include much of the cost of energy used in the actual construction of the factory and its equipment. I have no idea how large that cost actually is but it at least seems possible that it could be fairly large, theoretically even larger than the total cost of the cheap phone even though that seems unlikely.

  • Jamset

    Did Steve Jobs care about where the Apple server farms got their electricity from?

    I read that he built one in Carolina because of cheap coal power.

  • sault

    Good to hear, but a big chunk of the embedded emissions in an iPhone come from components sourced and then assembled in China by companies like Foxconn. Apple’s contribution to its products’ emissions itself is small by comparison.

    • Larmion

      I was about to post the same thing. Apple has been purchasing a lot of renewable energy itself and is working with Foxconn to do the same, but selling and assembling are the two least energy intensive parts of the production chain.

      The components used by Apple have a worryingly high environmental footprint. On the other hand, that applies in equal measure to all of Apple’s rivals. At the moment, there is no such thing as clean electronics.

      • Harry Johnson

        It’s the same with an EV. How many more resources were taken to build that clean Tesla Model X compared with the iPhone in the driver’s pocket?

      • Jens Stubbe

        No definitively not so. Samsung has cut emissions by 55% and they produce their products, so Apple has to up their game if they wish more than superficial greenwash.

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