Apple beefs up green commitments in China

Tech giant Apple has announced a new partnership with WWF to reduce the impact of its packaging needs on forests in China.

An Apple store in Beijing - one of 18 retail outlets in China

An Apple store in Beijing - one of 18 retail outlets in China

The new partnership aims to protect as much as a million acres of responsibly-managed working forests, which provide fibre for pulp, paper and wood products.

"Forests, like energy, can be renewable resources," said Apple vice president of environmental initiatives Lisa Jackson. "We believe we can run on naturally renewable resources and ensure that we protect - and create - as much sustainable working forest as needed to produce the virgin paper in our product packaging."

Apple has a commitment to achieve a net-zero impact on the world's supply of sustainable virgin fibre. Last month, the firm announced a similar partnership with the Conservation Fund to protect 36,000 acres of working forest in the US.


WWF China said it hoped the joint-project would create a new model of corporate leadership for sustainable forest management efficient use of paper.

"Apple's support for this project and its environmental leadership show that protecting forests is not just good for society but important for business," said WWF China chief executive officer Lo Sze Ping. "This collaboration will seek to reduce China's ecological footprint by helping produce more wood from responsibly managed forests within its own borders. Doing so is essential to China, the world's biggest timber importer.

Green energy

On Monday Apple also announced plans to expand its renewable energy projects to manufacturing facilities in China, en route to powering its global operations on 100% renewable energy.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said: "We've set an example by greening our data centres, retail stores and corporate offices, and we're ready to start leading the way toward reducing carbon emissions from manufacturing."

"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."

Today's announcements come three weeks after Apple launched its first major solar project in China - two 20MW solar farms in Sichuan Province. Together, the projects will generate up to 80 million kilowatt hours of clean energy per year, enough to power the equivalent of 61,000 Chinese homes.

China - the world's largest polluter - has seen a flurry of green initiatives in recent months, capped last week by a Government plan to shut down 1,200 coal mines.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has indicated that Beijing plans to hold down coal consumption growth in "key areas".

Brad Allen


apple | packaging | retail


Waste & resource management
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