Apple now powered by 93% renewable energy

With all eyes glued to the unveiling of Apple's new 'iPhone SE', the tech giant took to the stage in California this week to confirm that 93% of its global facilities are now running on renewable energy, before unveiling its eye-catching answer to the problem of e-waste.

Apple, which has pledged to run all of its facilities, retail offices and data centres across the globe on 100% renewable energy, revealed that all of its facilities across 23 countries – including the UK, US and China – are currently complying with this aim.

Speaking at the unveiling in Cupertino on Monday evening (21 March), Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social issues Lisa Jackson said: “Two years ago we told you about our ambitious goal, one that we hope others will adopt. Our goal was to be 100% renewable in 100% of our operations worldwide. That’s all of our offices, all of our retail stores and every single one of our data centres. Currently 93% of our facilities worldwide run on renewable energy.”

Apple’s original pledge to run entirely on renewable sources was set two years ago and the firm has since ensured that all of its data centres run entirely on renewable sources from solar, wind, biogas and geothermal power.

Liam – recycling robot

While this week’s event was centred on the new iPhone model unveiling, the tech giant also revealed a new innovation aimed at aiding a new reuse and recycling drive. Jackson unveiled ‘Liam’ the new recycling robotic arms that Apple is using to regain valuable resources from discarded iphones.

Liam is able to reclaim cobalt and lithium from the battery, gold and copper from the camera and silver and platinum from the main logic board which can then be used to create new technological equipment.

Apple is looking to increase Liam’s supply of old iPhones to take apart with a new recycling program called Apple Renew, which invites consumers to send in their old Apple devices be recycled; receiving a gift card credited with the value of the device in return.

Apple – which has been ranked alongside Google, SABMiller and Unilever for leading companies promoting low-carbon outputs – has embodied the sustainable shift taking place in the business sector. It has previously announced plans to clean up its manufacturing supply chain in China by building new 2.2GW renewable energy capacity projects and improving efficiency measures.

The company has also revealed that it is committing $848m to clean energy in the form of a 2,900-acre, 280MW solar farm to power the corporation’s new ‘spaceship’ headquarters in Cupertino where Monday’s event took place.

With chief executive Tim Cook claiming that ‘the time for change is now’ to tackle climate change, edie recently offered up five reasons why Apple is shaping up to become a sustainability leader.

Resource Efficiency at edie Live 2016

How do you ensure your business is protected from scarcity in the supply chain? How do you reduce usage and find ways to reduce your waste outputs at the same time? Who is responsible and how do you effect change on an organisational level?

From specific strategies and solutions to analysis of the broader issues at play, the Resource Efficiency Theatre at edie Live 2016 in May is a must-attend for any business, small or large, seeking to reduce their consumption, minimise their waste outputs and mitigate risk in their supply chains.

Find out more about edie Live 2016 and register to attend for free here

Matt Mace

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