A greener Apple: IT giant announces two new projects

Global IT giant Apple has announced it is greening its operations further by building more renewable energy capacity and offsetting its paper supply chain's impact.

Apple plans to build two solar power projects capable of producing 40MW in China, in partnership with developers Sunpower Corporation.

Both 20MW solar farms are under construction, with the Hongyuan project already connected to the grid and producing 2MW. The solar farms – the first to be built in the ABA Region of China – are expected to provide up to 80 million kilowatt-hours per year.

Completion of both projects is expected at the end of this year.

International Collaboration

SunPower has previously partnered with Apple on six U.S. projects totalling 90 MW in California, Nevada and North Carolina, but today’s announcement forms the partnership’s first international project.

“This is a groundbreaking collaboration, bringing together a diverse group of experienced partners from different parts of the globe to build renewable solar energy ventures that contribute to the local economy and the environment,” SunPower president and CEO Tom Werner said.

“These projects will provide clean, renewable energy, help address climate change, and continue to provide agricultural benefits to the local farmers, while protecting the area’s precious land.”

Virgin Fibre Footprint

Apple’s second environmental project to be announced this week will conserve 36,000 acres of working forest in Maine and Southern North Carolina through a partnership with the Conservation Fund.

The IT giant is striving to supply 100% of the virgin fibres used in its paper and packaging from sustainably managed forests or controlled wood sources.

Apple is also committed to using paper more efficiently, increasing recycled paper content and sourcing paper sustainably.

45 Million Trees

Writing in a blog, Apple’s vice president of environmental initiatives Lisa Jackson, and the Conservation Fund’s president Larry Selzer explained that: “Apple believes paper, like energy, can be a renewable resource.”

“The threat to America’s working forests is one of the most overlooked and urgent environmental stories of our time. We are in the midst of one of the greatest land transfers in history.

“In the last 15 years, we’ve lost 23 million acres of forestland that provided the pulp, paper, and solid wood material for products we all use. An estimated 45 million more acres are currently in the crosshairs of development.”

“For Apple, this is the beginning of a worldwide effort, one that represents a new approach as it reassesses its impact on the world’s paper supply chain.”

Sustainability Leader

Apple has already announced a $1.7bn plan to build two giant data centres in Europe, both powered by 100% renewable energy in February. Edie recently detailed the environmental credentials of the company.

Lucinda Dann

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