Apple now runs on 100 percent renewable energy

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 14
Making good on investments into clean energy, Apple on Monday announced its entire global operation, from offices to retail stores, is powered by renewable resources.




Apple has had a complicated relationship with environmentalism and green energy. For a few years now, the company has made promises to shift entirely to renewable energy. In the fall of 2016, the company joined a global initiative called RE100, claiming a goal of 100 percent renewable energy. That proclamation followed a 2015 deal that made Apple the largest corporate user of renewable power in the U.S.

Now, according to a company press release as well as an in-depth feature from Fast Company, Apple's facilities run entirely on green power. This includes data centers, the new Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino, retail stores and other facilities spread across 43 countries.

The 100 percent figure, however, only applies to Apple's own facilities, and not to its various partners in manufacturing and other operations. But Apple has also convinced a total of 23 companies -- including nine new ones -- in its supply chain to make a 100 percent energy pledge.

The achievement was accomplished in part by Apple investments into solar and wind farms near many of its data centers, as well as large solar installations atop Apple buildings like those at its Apple Park headquarters. In total, Apple has 25 renewable energy projects around the world pumping out 626 megawatts of generation capacity. The company is working to bring 15 more projects online in 11 countries, collectively capable of producing a collective 1.4 gigawatts of clean renewable energy.

"We're committed to leaving the world better than we found it. After years of hard work we're proud to have reached this significant milestone," CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. "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."

A long, green march

Despite running a very public environmental responsibility campaign that includes regular progress reports, ads and mentions in product presentations, Apple would find itself running afoul of activists. Greenpeace, for example, would often rank the company near the bottom of its list of the greenest companies in the consumer electronics space.

That began to change in 2007, when Steve Jobs released an open letter called "A Greener Apple," with a series of plans related to removing mercury from the company's products, as well as ramping up recycling programs.

The company has accelerated those efforts under Cook. Apple has continued to push the button on green energy and assembly. The company hired Lisa Jackson, the former EPA administrator in the Obama Administration, as its vice president for sustainability and government affairs, and early last year it led the rankings in Greenpeace's Clean Energy Index. In mid-2017, it issued a $1 billion bond to finance green energy products.
Alex1N
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 79
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,500member
    Very commendable. This is how leading by example is supposed to work.
    ombra2105techprod1gypeterhartminicoffeeMuntzradarthekatpscooter63baconstangchasmmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 2 of 79
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,847member
    On the one hand I see this as an amazing milestone, but I also can’t help but wonder if there are caveats to this sort of press release. Can Apple do better outside of just, say, being able to add more anything over 100% of their renewable back to the grid to help reduce costs for others over time? How much more would they have to do to get Foxconn, Pegatron, Corning, LG, Samsung, and all their other major suppliers (for their specific component assembly) to get folded into this mix? How does this translate for all the ground and air transportation fuel expenditures, if that's even possible to convert in a reasonable manner? And does this only account for energy used by one facility once another facility is suppling power, or do they take into consider the resources needed into to create these renewable energy facilities?
    edited April 9 minicoffee
  • Reply 3 of 79
    I think their next step could be a focus on getting rid of plastics and replacing it with biodegradable/compostable materials. It would be awesome and inspiring to see a large company that change.
    fastasleepminicoffeemuthuk_vanalingamrepressthisjony0spheric
  • Reply 4 of 79
    zroger73zroger73 Posts: 666member
    "Earth's resources won't last forever."

    Well, neither will humans or Apple or our sun no matter how much "renewable energy" we use.

    How much CO2 was produced and will continue to be produced to manufacture and maintain those solar panels, batteries, fuel cells, wind-powered generators? Mmmhmm. Exactly.

    It's a nice PR move.
    tallest skilberndograndominternetperson
  • Reply 5 of 79
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,847member
    zroger73 said:
    "Earth's resources won't last forever."

    Well, neither will humans or Apple or our sun no matter how much "renewable energy" we use.

    How much CO2 was produced and will continue to be produced to manufacture and maintain those solar panels, batteries, fuel cells, wind-powered generators? Mmmhmm. Exactly.

    It's a nice PR move.
    1) Do you think it's more than fossil fuels?

    2) Are you saying that because nothing lasts forever that we should do nothing to try to make Earth as hospitable for future generations as long as possible?
    minicoffeeMuntzradarthekatbaconstangmuthuk_vanalingampropodlamboaudi4watto_cobraspheric
  • Reply 6 of 79
    So does this mean that every Apple facility generates its own power or that the total sum of all power generated by Apple is enough to run all their facilities and the excess renewable power is re-distributed onto the grid?
    edited April 9
  • Reply 7 of 79
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,847member
    So does this mean that every Apple facility generates its own power or that the total sum of all power generated by Apple is enough to run all their facilities and the excess renewable power is re-distributed onto the grid?
    The latter, which means that (I think) London Apple Stores aren't going to have solar panels on the roof, but that their NV solar farm sends more back to the grid, which probably isn't getting registered by the UK, but maybe they are using wind turbines in the countryside so that each country is 100% renewable for the power it's using. Lots of potential avenues for calculation this which will undoubtedly lead to more questions, but still a remarkable achievement in its own right.
    Muntzmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 8 of 79
    So does this mean that every Apple facility generates its own power or that the total sum of all power generated by Apple is enough to run all their facilities and the excess renewable power is re-distributed onto the grid?
    The second half of your statement is what's happening here.
    Muntzmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 79
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 1,923member
    I think it's great what Apple is doing, however green energy still impacts the environment in a negative way. Wind turbines kill a ton of birds each year. There needs to be more regulation so these wind farms can't continue to kill thousands of federally protected birds with impunity each year. 
    tallest skil
  • Reply 10 of 79
    I think their next step could be a focus on getting rid of plastics and replacing it with biodegradable/compostable materials. It would be awesome and inspiring to see a large company that change.
    Apple actually started doing that with their packaging. They are not there yet 100%, but they are far ahead comparing to the competition.
    StrangeDaysMuntzradarthekatbaconstangmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 11 of 79
    ...for consideration:

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2014/11/141111-solar-panel-manufacturing-sustainability-ranking/

    ...is it a long road still ahead, and a future we ultimately really want...?

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9L0pord5jE


    edited April 9 anton zuykov
  • Reply 12 of 79
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 809member
    zroger73 said:
    How much CO2 was produced and will continue to be produced to manufacture and maintain those solar panels, batteries, fuel cells, wind-powered generators?
    If you have a better solution, please speak up. Is your idea to just continue using things like coal and oil because they produce less CO2 than the "renewable" methods?

    Apple has a fantastic green program that includes a few things not mentioned in the article. Apple's products usually use less electricity than the competition. Their packaging is ridiculously minimal. Their gift cards are plant-based, not plastic.
    StrangeDaysMuntzradarthekatpscooter63baconstangmuthuk_vanalingampropodwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 79
    viclauyycviclauyyc Posts: 265member
    This is even better than an upgradable all new Mac Pro sell for $1500.

  • Reply 14 of 79
    minisu1980minisu1980 Posts: 109member
    zroger73 said:
    "Earth's resources won't last forever."

    Well, neither will humans or Apple or our sun no matter how much "renewable energy" we use.

    How much CO2 was produced and will continue to be produced to manufacture and maintain those solar panels, batteries, fuel cells, wind-powered generators? Mmmhmm. Exactly.

    It's a nice PR move.
    This comment is just asinine. Just because there isn’t an infinite amount of a resource does not mean one should squander away the supply that exists. Conserving limited resources (to the extent possible) is the only sensical longer term viewpoint. It would like saying we only have 90 day of rations and are marooned on a desert island. Your view is, well since we don’t have infinite rations we might as well eat them all today. Makes zero sense.

    The amount of limited resources consumed to allow for the collection of, a more or less, infinite source of power, while not neglible, is clearly the most prudent use for said resources as it produces more than it consumes. 

    Is it a fair assumption you hail from generations of coal miners who refused to move on/relocate when the modern world rendered them obsolete.

    As for Apple this is fantastic news. It is quite impressive given their size and geographic footprint. I’m curious how many other companies have achieved this.
    StrangeDaysMuntzd_2radarthekatmacxpressbaconstangmuthuk_vanalingamkiltedgreenpropodroundaboutnow
  • Reply 15 of 79
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,153member
    zroger73 said:
    "Earth's resources won't last forever."

    Well, neither will humans or Apple or our sun no matter how much "renewable energy" we use.

    How much CO2 was produced and will continue to be produced to manufacture and maintain those solar panels, batteries, fuel cells, wind-powered generators? Mmmhmm. Exactly.

    It's a nice PR move.
    This comment is just asinine. Just because there isn’t an infinite amount of a resource does not mean one should squander away the supply that exists. Conserving limited resources (to the extent possible) is the only sensical longer term viewpoint. It would like saying we only have 90 day of rations and are marooned on a desert island. Your view is, well since we don’t have infinite rations we might as well eat them all today. Makes zero sense.

    The amount of limited resources consumed to allow for the collection of, a more or less, infinite source of power, while not neglible, is clearly the most prudent use for said resources as it produces more than it consumes. 

    Is it a fair assumption you hail from generations of coal miners who refused to move on/relocate when the modern world rendered them obsolete.

    As for Apple this is fantastic news. It is quite impressive given their size and geographic footprint. I’m curious how many other companies have achieved this.
    I don't think he was being asinine.  The reality is just about all resources that humanity requires to support it's society is running on borrowed time.  We'd need an earth seven times larger if we were to mine all the resources to convert every car on the planet to electric.  The amount of resources - and toxicity - to create solar panels to me almost negates the positive contributions they make.  We're getting better, we're getting clearer, but in the end with an ever-growing world population straining resources even more... something is going to give.
    zroger73randominternetperson
  • Reply 16 of 79
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,909member
    So does this mean that every Apple facility generates its own power or that the total sum of all power generated by Apple is enough to run all their facilities and the excess renewable power is re-distributed onto the grid?
    The second half of your statement is what's happening here.
    It's not possible for any of the big techs to actually generate enough power on their own to supply all their operations, or to physically power every company site with renewable energy. The claims of running on 100% renewable is possible by a combination of investments in green energy operations run by others along with their own home-grown energy projects and augmented with the purchase of green-energy credits.  
    radarthekatcgWerks
  • Reply 17 of 79
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 194member
    How many other big technology companies are doing this? Google, Facebook, Amazon?? 
    I have not heard how much renwable they are using...
    they must be doing power wheeling on other stores where in not enough roof top can be fitted w solar panels...
    PR or not, great job for Apple
    d_2
  • Reply 18 of 79
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,847member
    sflocal said:
    zroger73 said:
    "Earth's resources won't last forever."

    Well, neither will humans or Apple or our sun no matter how much "renewable energy" we use.

    How much CO2 was produced and will continue to be produced to manufacture and maintain those solar panels, batteries, fuel cells, wind-powered generators? Mmmhmm. Exactly.

    It's a nice PR move.
    This comment is just asinine. Just because there isn’t an infinite amount of a resource does not mean one should squander away the supply that exists. Conserving limited resources (to the extent possible) is the only sensical longer term viewpoint. It would like saying we only have 90 day of rations and are marooned on a desert island. Your view is, well since we don’t have infinite rations we might as well eat them all today. Makes zero sense.

    The amount of limited resources consumed to allow for the collection of, a more or less, infinite source of power, while not neglible, is clearly the most prudent use for said resources as it produces more than it consumes. 

    Is it a fair assumption you hail from generations of coal miners who refused to move on/relocate when the modern world rendered them obsolete.

    As for Apple this is fantastic news. It is quite impressive given their size and geographic footprint. I’m curious how many other companies have achieved this.
    I don't think he was being asinine.  The reality is just about all resources that humanity requires to support it's society is running on borrowed time.  We'd need an earth seven times larger if we were to mine all the resources to convert every car on the planet to electric.  The amount of resources - and toxicity - to create solar panels to me almost negates the positive contributions they make.  We're getting better, we're getting clearer, but in the end with an ever-growing world population straining resources even more... something is going to give.
    I think a statement about our sun dying in the next 5 billions is about as assinine as it gets when talking about making a smaller footprint on the environment today.
    edited April 9 StrangeDaysd_2radarthekatpscooter63muthuk_vanalingamroundaboutnowjony0spheric
  • Reply 19 of 79
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,945member
    sflocal said:
    zroger73 said:
    "Earth's resources won't last forever."

    Well, neither will humans or Apple or our sun no matter how much "renewable energy" we use.

    How much CO2 was produced and will continue to be produced to manufacture and maintain those solar panels, batteries, fuel cells, wind-powered generators? Mmmhmm. Exactly.

    It's a nice PR move.
    This comment is just asinine. Just because there isn’t an infinite amount of a resource does not mean one should squander away the supply that exists. Conserving limited resources (to the extent possible) is the only sensical longer term viewpoint. It would like saying we only have 90 day of rations and are marooned on a desert island. Your view is, well since we don’t have infinite rations we might as well eat them all today. Makes zero sense.

    The amount of limited resources consumed to allow for the collection of, a more or less, infinite source of power, while not neglible, is clearly the most prudent use for said resources as it produces more than it consumes. 

    Is it a fair assumption you hail from generations of coal miners who refused to move on/relocate when the modern world rendered them obsolete.

    As for Apple this is fantastic news. It is quite impressive given their size and geographic footprint. I’m curious how many other companies have achieved this.
    I don't think he was being asinine.  The reality is just about all resources that humanity requires to support it's society is running on borrowed time.  We'd need an earth seven times larger if we were to mine all the resources to convert every car on the planet to electric.  The amount of resources - and toxicity - to create solar panels to me almost negates the positive contributions they make.  We're getting better, we're getting clearer, but in the end with an ever-growing world population straining resources even more... something is going to give.
    Right. May as well just give up then. 

    🙄
    fastasleepmuthuk_vanalingampropodjony0
  • Reply 20 of 79
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,909member
    Kuyangkoh said:
    How many other big technology companies are doing this? Google, Facebook, Amazon?? 
    I have not heard how much renwable they are using...
    they must be doing power wheeling on other stores where in not enough roof top can be fitted w solar panels...
    PR or not, great job for Apple
    Apple is not claiming to produce all the power they require. The statement they made is that all their operations are run on renewable energy. Google also does since you're specifically asking, announcing it back in November, which in no way minimizes Apple's achievement and dedication. They have been in the forefront in drawing attention to renewable energy production. Facebook and Amazon are not really close yet. 
    edited April 9 muthuk_vanalingam
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