Apple has announced that it's "more than doubled" the number of suppliers committed to using clean energy and unveiled new measures toward its goal of being carbon neutral by 2030. It's unveiling the initiatives ahead of COP26, the upcoming UN conference that many observers feel will not produce the breakthroughs needed to achieve aims set at the Paris climate accord.
As part of its 2020 environmental progress report, Apple said that its products and supply chain would be carbon neutral by 2030. That includes not just Apple itself, but 175 supplies that also need to transition to renewable energy, it wrote today. When that happens, "the company and its suppliers will bring online more than 9 gigawatts of clean power around the world," avoiding over 18 million metric tons of CO2e annually, Apple wrote.
In total, 175 Apple suppliers will transition to using renewable energy, and the company and its suppliers will bring online more than 9 gigawatts of clean power around the world. These actions will avoid over 18 million metric tons of CO2e annually — the equivalent of taking over 4 million cars off the road each year.
Apple noted that 19 suppliers in Europe are now part of its Clean Energy Program, including Solvay and STMicroelectronics. It has 50 more in China, along with 31 in Japan and South Korea, including SK Hynix, "one of the first Korean suppliers to participate." Its also creating "new pathways" for recycled materials, including recycled sources of gold, cobalt, aluminum and rare earth elements.
Apple also added 10 new projects for its "Power for Impact" initiative designed to bring clean energy solutions to communities around the world, particularly in under-resourced communities. That includes a project with six Sioux tribes in the US to finance, develop, build and operating power generation facilities, along with renewable energy projects in South Africa, the Philippines, Columbia, Israel and elsewhere.
While Apple appears to be making good on its promise to deliver products built with 100 percent clean energy, it continues to take heat over e-waste and related right to repair issues. Many of its products are difficult and expensive to repair, meaning that they either end up as e-waste or recycled toward new products. Both of those things use energy, clean or otherwise, that wouldn't be consumed if the product was simply fixed.
Recently, President Biden ordered the FTC to draft right to repair legislation, and Europe announced that it would take measures forcing phone manufacturers to use USB-C — both rules that seem to primarily target Apple.