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Apple Touts Plans for Massive Solar Farm and Fuel Cell Facilities at North Carolina Data Center

As noted by CNET, Apple today updated its environmental site with updated data for 2011, revealing a few tidbits of new information about the company's work on energy usage and other topics.


Apple's data center in Maiden, North Carolina

Among the additions is a brief discussion of the company's massive new data center in Maiden, North Carolina, which Apple touts as being the only such facility of comparable size to earn LEED Platinum certification. The company also notes that the solar farm being built across the street from the facility will be the largest user-owned solar array in the United States, registering at 20 megawatts. Finally, Apple will also be powering the facility with a 5-megawatt fuel cell installation, the largest in the country not owned by a utility company. Additional details are available in the company's facilities report (PDF).
Our new data center in Maiden, North Carolina, demonstrates our commitment to reducing the environmental impact of our facilities through energy-efficient, green building design. The facility has earned the coveted LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. We know of no other data center of comparable size that has achieved this level of LEED certification. Our goal is to run the Maiden facility with high percentage renewable energy mix, and we have major projects under way to achieve this — including building the nation’s largest end user-owned solar array and building the largest nonutility fuel cell installation in the United States.
Still, rapid growth in the company's sales have caused Apple's carbon footprint to balloon, with greenhouse gas emissions increasing by 56% from 14.8 million metric tons in 2010 to 23.1 million metric tons in 2011. The biggest swings in terms of share of Apple's carbon footprint come from product use itself, which declined from 45% of the company's use to just 30%, and manufacturing, which increased from 45% to 61% between 2010 and 2011. But even with the rapid growth in carbon footprint, Apple touts that greenhouse gas emissions per dollar of revenue have decreased by 15.4 percent since 2008.


Among other additions in Apple's 2011 environmental report, the company touts increased usage of "environmentally conscious materials" such as repolymerized plastic bottles in fan assemblies, recycled plastic in speaker assembles and internal brackets, recycled paper in packing, and renewable tapioca paper foam in iPhone packages.

Top Rated Comments

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28 months ago
Other companies doing this: none.
Other tech companies inviting the media into their factories: none.
Company getting all the flak: Apple.
Rating: 34 Positives
28 months ago

They may be trying to be more transparent, but they are still behind HP, Dell and Nokia according to Greenpeace's ratings:

http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2011/11/09/hp-leads-greenpeaces-relaunched-green-electronics-rankings


Greenpeace? ROFLMAO. Sorry, but the're a joke. :apple:
Rating: 16 Positives
28 months ago



Other companies doing this: none.
Other tech companies inviting the media into their factories: none.
Company getting all the flak: Apple.


Agreed.
Rating: 12 Positives
28 months ago
They messed up and forgot something,


Lawyers 1%
Rating: 11 Positives
28 months ago
2007:


2011:


Apple has certainly improved, but are more open about what they're doing than the 3 that are above them. It's shifted from 2007, but you can get that companies are now showing what they're doing now, so they ratings are lower than what they used to be.

HP I can understand being more green cause they sell more products that are recyclable. Ink cartridges are the biggest recycled product, because they include shipping envelopes with new cartridges and you can even request free ones that hold more than just 1 cartridge.
Rating: 10 Positives
28 months ago



Other companies doing this: none.
Other tech companies inviting the media into their factories: none.
Company getting all the flak: Apple.


Perfectly stated.

And Apple is weathering the storm like a champ. It's what happens when you've won over the consumer with the consistently best products in the biz.
Rating: 9 Positives
28 months ago

They may be trying to be more transparent, but they are still behind HP, Dell and Nokia according to Greenpeace's ratings:

http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2011/11/09/hp-leads-greenpeaces-relaunched-green-electronics-rankings


Except that Greenpeace reports are a load of BS to get clicks and donation...

Read these (http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/Home/ABC6DFDA-9DE9-4EA8-A269-65EAAB628676.html) articles (http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/Home/29C5599A-FCD8-4E30-9AD5-5497999ABA1B.html)
Rating: 8 Positives
28 months ago
I think this "green" kick is nothing but marketing.

I would love to see how much of that solar farm was allocated to "Marketing Expense." Furthermore while possible with "instant on" diesel generators, I would also imagine this solar farm secondary (primary perhaps) justification is energy independence of the power grid. Can one imagine the outcry if there was a power outage, and everyone everywhere lost their iCloud.

It would be a RIM-style failure that I believe Apple is trying to prevent, while trying to appear "green" at the same time.
Rating: 8 Positives
28 months ago

Someone at Apple has gone nuts. I am glad Apple is so rich they can waste time on stuff like this, but it is a bad sign when a company leaves its core compentencies to waste time and resources on trendy political fads.

"Going green" is a rich person first world fad that is mostly harmless, unless Apple starts to lose focus. Often this sort of thing means a company is losing focus. I like Apple stuff, so prefer they stay focused on what they know, not appesing a few oddball organizations with "going green".

However, I guess this also ties in with modern expectations. Rich first worlders like feeling good about going green and want to feel good about the "morality" of their products as well as their functionality - so maybe this will help the bottom line by appealing to other green fadists, who on average probably are a larger buying percentage of Apple products than non-fadists. I think this is probably exceptional popular among age groups Apple sells to. Heck, my daughter comes home from public school all the time telling me fairy tales about the green fads - I suspect this sort of thing would induce her to buy more products and think more positively about Apple.


I hope there aren't too many people like you on this planet. I'd hate for the selfishness and arrogance of a minority to ruin this planet for everyone, and for what?
Rating: 8 Positives
28 months ago



Other companies doing this: none.
Other tech companies inviting the media into their factories: none.
Company getting all the flak: Apple.


so true
Rating: 7 Positives

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