Apple Pushing For Deeper Decarbonization

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Amazon and Apple have announced more efforts toward climate stabilization, equity and inclusion, and deeper decarbonization in the past month and a half. The tech giants have plenty to clean up, but they’ve also been leaders in the adoption of clean renewable energy. Below is a look at some of what Apple has been up to lately.

Apple Decarbonizing Deeper

Image courtesy of Apple.

Apple started putting more pressure on its global supply chain to decarbonize. As part of that, it’s looking more closely at its major manufacturing partners and is working with these companies to decarbonize Apple-related operations. As part of that, Apple wants these suppliers to be running on 100% renewable electricity.

Since 2020, Apple has been 100% carbon neutral for its own operations. Now it is “laser-focused on its ambitious goal to become carbon neutral across its entire global supply chain and the life cycle of every product.” Apple has already cut emissions since 2015 by 40%. It’s goal is complete carbon neutrality by 2030. Here’s more on how it aims to achieve that:

“As part of Apple’s supplier engagement, the company is partnering with its worldwide supply chain to urge accelerated action to achieve carbon neutrality for their Apple-related corporate operations. The company requires reporting on progress toward these goals — specifically Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions reductions related to Apple production — and will track and audit annual progress. Apple will partner with suppliers that are working with urgency and making measurable progress toward decarbonization. […]

“More than 200 suppliers representing more than 70 percent of Apple’s direct manufacturing spend have already committed to using clean power like wind or solar for all Apple production. Major manufacturing partners — including Corning Incorporated, Nitto Denko Corporation, SK hynix, STMicroelectronics, TSMC, and Yuto — have committed to power all Apple production with 100 percent renewable energy.

“To help suppliers meet their commitments and go even further, Apple offers a suite of free e-learning resources and live trainings through its Clean Energy Program, and works closely with its suppliers and local partners to identify effective solutions for renewable energy and carbon removal. More than 150 supplier representatives have participated in live trainings this year alone. Apple plans to donate these resources to create a first-of-its-kind public training platform that is free for businesses across many different industries, ensuring that companies of all sizes — in Apple’s supply chain and beyond — will have access to the resources and advocacy networks needed to speed their transition to 100 percent clean energy and carbon neutrality.”

“Apple has invested in renewable energy in the United States and Australia — including this large-scale solar project in Brown County, Texas — to help address the electricity customers use to charge their Apple devices.” Image courtesy of Apple.

Apple is also working to add enough renewable energy in Europe to account for 100% of the electricity all Apple products on the continent use. That means the electricity use of people like you and me using an Apple computer or iPhone in Europe.

Apple also has a new solution for iPhone users in the USA. You can go into the Battery Health & Charging section of your phone settings and can choose “Clean Energy Charging.” Doing that, the phone will try to intelligently charge at times when the grid has more electricity coming from clean renewable energy sources. As noted, this is just an option in the USA for now, and it is available through iOS 16. This cool consumer feature is probably something that deserves its own story.

Apple Investing in Community-Driven Climate Solutions

“With Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance, Maasai farmers make their way across the rangelands of Chyulu Hills, Kenya, where Apple and Conservation International have partnered to train hundreds of local community members in updated rangeland management techniques.” Image courtesy of Apple.

Apple also recently invested in three new Restore Fund projects. The Restore Fund is “a first-of-its-kind carbon removal initiative that aims to generate a financial return while removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.” You can read more about those projects here.

“As part of a new partnership between Apple and the World Wildlife Fund, community members take part in a participatory design session in Zimbabwe, working together to brainstorm climate solutions for their community.” Image courtesy of Apple.

Additionally, the company announced a few new “partnerships to advance community-driven climate solutions around the world.” This includes a project with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Namibia and Zimbabwe, a partnership with the China Green Carbon Foundation, a project with Conservation International in Kenya, and launching the ChangemakerXchange network in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. Here are some more details on these partnerships:

  • In Namibia and Zimbabwe, Apple is working with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to promote climate resilience and sustainable livelihoods through the Climate Crowd program. Climate Crowd works hand in hand with communities facing the worst impacts of climate change to build resilience and develop alternative livelihoods that depend on the preservation and restoration of natural resources in the region — from climate-smart agriculture to beekeeping and rainwater harvesting. In this region, the program also supports interventions like clean cookstoves that help communities get the critical energy resources they need without depleting the natural resources around them.
  • In China, Apple has partnered with China Green Carbon Foundation to conduct research, demonstrate best practices, and build stakeholder networks around the goal of increasing the amount and quality of responsibly managed nature-based carbon sinks. The partnership will support identifying and mapping prioritized areas in the Sichuan province, as well as developing best practice guidelines and methods for forest management that could be replicated in other regions. Apple will also support a pilot in Chengdu to demonstrate carbon removal potential in urban and semi-urban areas, which will help establish best practices for carrying out carbon removal projects in urban areas of China, and improve climate adaptation and resilience.
  • In the Chyulu Hills region of Kenya, Apple has partnered with Conservation International since 2020 to demonstrate that improved livestock management can help restore crucial rangelands, store carbon, and build climate-resilient pastoral livelihoods across Africa. To date, the project has trained hundreds of local Maasai community members in updated rangeland management techniques, including more sustainable grazing practices, reduction of soil erosion, natural regeneration, and the creation of women-led grass seed banks.
  • In Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, Apple is launching a new partnership with ChangemakerXchange to strengthen climate action and leadership in the region. By creating a network to connect, build, and uplift youth-led climate innovation, Apple will help link solutions to funding opportunities and enhance climate leadership skills. The initiative will launch in Egypt at the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP27), and over the next two years will support a group of 100 change-makers and social innovators — 50 from Europe and 50 from the Middle East and North Africa.
“A member of the ChangemakerXchange community takes part in a workshop on social innovation in Cologne, Germany. ChangemakerXchange and Apple are partnering to strengthen climate leadership in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.” Image courtesy of Apple.

For much more on how Apple is mobilizing, inspiring, and assisting decarbonization efforts across the world and across its supply chain, you can read Apple’s full story on the matter.

All images in this article courtesy of Apple.


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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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