The tech giant said on Thursday it plans to build more than 200MW of solar projects in China, aiming to produce enough energy to power the equivalent of 265,000 Chinese homes.

The firm said it will also share best practice with suppliers on clean energy procurement, aiming to help them install another 2GW of new clean energy ‘in the coming years’.

As part of the plan, Apple is also launching a new initiative to drive its manufacturing partners to become more energy efficient.

The firm will provide hands-on assistance in areas like energy efficiency audits and regulatory guidance.

“Being responsible, protecting air and water, and driving clean energy are at the heart of Apple’s commitment to China,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives.

“These projects go beyond Apple’s operations in China to help our suppliers adopt clean renewable energy.”

Fine China

The company’s direct China operations (offices and retail stores) are already 100% powered by renewable energy, after construction was completed this week on 40MW of solar projects in the Sichuan Province.

The project marks the latest stage of Apple’s efforts to green up its supply chain in China. Earlier this year Apple announced a partnership with WWF to reduce the impact of its packaging needs on Chinese forests.

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

Green giants

Around 87% of Apple’s global operations are now powered by renewable energy, including 100% in the US, but that level of ambition is now common for the cash-rich tech firms in Silicon Valley.

Earlier this week, Google bought a 12.5% stake in Africa’s largest windfarm, taking its total investment in clean energy over $2bn.

Facebook also has a commitment to be 50% powered by renewable energy by 2018, and is currently constructing a 200MW, 17,000 acre wind farm in Texas.

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