Apple Now Globally Powered by 100% Renewables
"We're committed to leaving the world better than we found it. After years of hard work we're proud to have reached this significant milestone," said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a statement.
"We're going to keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the materials in our products, the way we recycle them, our facilities and our work with suppliers to establish new creative and forward-looking sources of renewable energy because we know the future depends on it."
To be clear, it's just Apple's own operations that are running on 100 percent renewables. Its entire global supply chain—which makes parts and accessories for Apple's products—is still working on it. However, the company said it has convinced 23 total manufacturing partners to make the transition.
Additionally, it's not like every single Apple Store generates its own green electricity from, say, a solar rooftop. These stores are usually connected to a municipal power grid, and it's not possible to ensure the electricity is entirely free of fossil fuels.
But the tech titan is able to claim its "100 percent renewable" accolade because it purchases Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from green-energy producers and has built its own renewable energy facilities around the world, totaling 626 megawatts of generation capacity. Last year, 286 megawatts of solar PV generation came online, its most ever in one year.
Apple also has 15 more projects down the line. Once complete, over 1.4 gigawatts of clean renewable energy generation will be spread across 11 countries.
Solar panels mounted high off the ground in China allows yaks to eat the grass growing underneath. Apple
The iPhone maker has also created an energy subsidiary in Delaware called Apple Energy LLC to sell surplus electricity generated by its various renewable energy projects.
"Since 2011, all of Apple's renewable energy projects have reduced greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e) by 54 percent from its facilities worldwide and prevented nearly 2.1 million metric tons of CO2e from entering the atmosphere," the company touted.
A number of IT corporations have taken major strides in reducing their carbon footprint. Last month, Microsoft announced the single largest corporate purchase of solar power ever seen in the U.S. Google also announced last week that toward the end of 2017, it reached its goal to run on 100 percent renewable energy.
Former Vice President Al Gore, a member of Apple's board of directors, celebrated the news.
"Apple is proving the business case for reducing greenhouse emissions and simultaneously reducing energy costs," he tweeted. "All of its facilities are now powered by 100 percent clean energy!"
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This year's letter from Bill and Melinda Gates focused on nine things that surprised them. For the Microsoft-cofounder, one thing he was surprised to learn was the massive amount of new buildings the planet should expect in the coming decades due to urban population growth.
"The number of buildings in the world is going to double by 2060. It's like we're going to build a new New York City every month for the next 40 years," he said.
By Shana Udvardy
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