Apple Announces Renewable Energy and Forestland Initiatives in China

Apple today announced a new multi-year project with World Wildlife Fund to protect up to 1 million acres of responsibly managed working forests in China, which the company says provide fiber for pulp, paper and wood products. The new forestland program is part of Apple's goal to run its worldwide operations on 100% renewable energy.

Apple Forestry
Apple also confirmed plans to expand its industry-leading renewable energy projects to manufacturing facilities in China, three weeks after the company announced a partnership with SunPower Corporation to build two 20-megawatt solar power plants that will provide more than enough energy to power all of Apple's corporate offices and retail stores in the world's most populous country.

“We’ve set an example by greening our data centers, retail stores and corporate offices, and we’re ready to start leading the way toward reducing carbon emissions from manufacturing,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “This won’t happen overnight—in fact it will take years—but it’s important work that has to happen, and Apple is in a unique position to take the initiative toward this ambitious goal. It is a responsibility we accept. We are excited to work with leaders in our supply chain who want to be on the cutting edge of China’s green transformation.”

Apple shared its 2015 Environmental Responsibility Report in April, reflecting on the company's environmental progress during the 2014 fiscal year. The report highlights that 100% of the company's U.S. operations and 87% of its global operations are run on renewable energy. The report also reveals that Apple emitted 34.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions during the 12-month period ending September.

Top Rated Comments

Rogifan Avatar
76 months ago
They look after the environment better than they look after their employees in China, who are still little better than slave labour. Warped thinking IMO.

Foxconn employees are NOT Apple employees!
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
76 months ago
I'm excited for the Apple design video expounding on the creation of all these trees:

Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macus3r Avatar
76 months ago
In the eyes of the consumer this is certainly a plus. By being proactive about managing their emissions and consumption of materials, this company will slowly give back to our environment and also earn the environmentally-concerned consumer's spending dollars.

This is one of those trademark apple moves. Granted, this is a company that also knows how to market products effectively, so they're great at talking up their accomplishments, but at the same time you don't see too many other hardware manufacturers displaying the same level of "concern."

Tim Cook's team should be proud. If Steve's legacy was creating apple, Tim's will be greening the tree from which the fruit bears.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
elvislives Avatar
76 months ago
Good for Apple! This is one I like Samsung to copy!
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iTom17 Avatar
76 months ago
This is the kind of news that makes me feel proud of Apple. It may be a huge tech company, but yet they also care A LOT about the environment. I bet no other related manufacturer would even think of this.

Keep it up, Apple!
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Daalseth Avatar
76 months ago
Have you heard about Farms? Their product is produce. A tree farm's product is trees. If the tree farm stops producing trees, then it goes out of business. Farms don't have 12 month time frames, some are operational (for one family or another or one for company or another) for centuries.

If there is a demand for trees (i.e., paper) and if governments, companies, or just reality does not allow those trees to be economically produced from old growth forests, then these farms will see their trees replanted and will be taken care of. For the tree farmer it is simple economic interest. It isn't particularly complicated. Apple might be acting from a higher standard, but most likely they are locking in a good price for the paper by entering into long-term contracts with these tree farms. They are doing the same thing in renewable energy. They are fixing their input price on a necessary item. The "good for the earth" PR is just gravy. Delicious gravy. to be sure. But I bet all these deals pencil out economically as well.
Yes I've heard of farms. My wife grew up on a farm. A real farm. A century farm.
I grew up with W and GP talking about tree farms, and sustainable management and it was all BS.
The reality was that they ran a few plots of "tree farms" to show to the press and legislators. Meanwhile they stripped BLM and Forest Service lands bare, silted up the streams and walked off to new stands leaving devastated small towns with closed mills in a trashed environment in their wake. That's how the lumber industry works.
And even if the current management thinks in terms of sustainability, it won't last. There used to be a small company in California that ran a sustainable operation. They owned several thousand acres and only harvested as much each year as would regrow. That lasted until the '90s when they were bought out. The new owners stripped everything in a few years. They then closed the mill sold off the land for development, pocked the money and went on to new conquests.
That's the history of "sustainable" forestry and "tree farming".

Maybe Apple and the Chinese can do it right. I don't know, nobody can predict the future. But given the history of lumber companies from Georgia, to Minnesota, to Oregon, to Sumatra, I'm dubious.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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