The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Apple to Clean Up Act in China With Huge Investments in Renewable Energy
Apple, the world's most valuable company, is known for being a green leader, especially in the last four years since Tim Cook became CEO. All of their data centers, stores and offices in the U.S. run on 100 percent renewable energy, the solar farm they are currently building in Monterey, California is purported to be Apple's "biggest, boldest and most ambitious project ever," and the company's current CEO even told climate-denying shareholders last year to "get out of stock."
Now, Apple is taking on a new eco-challenge: "cleaning up its manufacturing operations in China to reduce air pollution caused by the factories" that assemble its products, according to the Associated Press.
The company is working with its suppliers to eventually produce 2.2 gigawatts (GW) of solar, wind and hydroelectric power. To start, Apple will finance solar panels capable of generating about 200 megawatts (MW) of power in the northern, southern and eastern regions of China.
According to the AP:
Apple will work with its suppliers to "build the capacity" for the remaining two GW of renewable power. "Foxconn, which runs the factory where the most iPhones are assembled, is pledging to contribute 400 megawatts of solar power as part of the two-gigabyte commitment. The solar panels to be built by 2018 in China's Henan Province are supposed to produce as much renewable energy as Foxconn's Zhengzhou factory consumes while making iPhones."
"When you look at all the air pollution in China, all the manufacturing that is done there has a lot to do with it, so this is a significant step in the right direction," said Gary Cook, a senior analyst for Greenpeace.
According to Apple:
"Construction on 40 megawatts of solar projects in the Sichuan Province" of China is now finished. The projects "produce more than the total amount of electricity used by Apple’s offices and retail stores in China, making Apple's operations carbon neutral in China.
"Today the company is powering 100 percent of its operations in China and the U.S., and more than 87 percent of its worldwide operations, with renewable energy."
As the AP notes, the company "has a financial incentive" to clean up China's environment because "the greater China region is Apple's second biggest market behind the U.S." And the effort to clean up comes at a crucial time in the fight to forestall the devastating effects of climate change.
“We need governments and companies to transition us to renewable energy as rapidly as possible, and Apple's announcement today is a major step forward in building a renewably powered supply chain for its products," said Greenpeace's Cook. "We have seen Apple lead the sector in building a renewably powered internet, and hope that Samsung, Microsoft, and other IT companies will follow their lead in manufacturing their cutting-edge devices with a 21st century energy supply.”
Apple estimates that "20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution will be avoided as more of its suppliers rely on renewable energy between now and 2020, equivalent to taking nearly 4 million passenger vehicles off the road for one year." And Google, Facebook and other tech companies are heavily investing in renewables as well, a move that has environmental groups cheering
"Electronics manufacturing uses large amounts of energy in China and globally and is growing rapidly, estimated to be as much as two percent of total global electricity use by 2017," said Cook. "Much of the electronics manufacturing industry is based in China, which relies heavily on coal for electricity generation, underscoring the importance of shifting manufacturing toward renewable energy to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions."
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Daisy Brickhill
Each morning, men living in fishing communities along Ghana's coastline push off in search of the day's catch. But when the boats come back to shore, it's the women who take over.
By Sam Nickerson
Links between excess sugar in your diet and disease have been well-documented, but new research by Harvard's School of Public Health might make you even more wary of that next soda: it could increase your risk of an early death.
The study, published this week in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation, found that drinking one or two sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) each day — like sodas or sports drinks — increases risk of an early death by 14 percent.
Tyson Foods Recalls Nearly 70,000 Pounds of Chicken Strips After Customers Find ‘Fragments of Metal’
Tyson Foods is recalling approximately 69,093 pounds of frozen chicken strips because they may have been contaminated with pieces of metal, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Thursday.
The affected products were fully-cooked "Buffalo Style" and "Crispy" chicken strips with a "use by" date of Nov. 30, 2019 and an establishment number of "P-7221" on the back of the package.
"FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers' freezers," the recall notice said. "Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase."
Environmental exposure to pesticides, both before birth and during the first year of life, has been linked to an increased risk of developing autism spectrum disorder, according to the largest epidemiological study to date on the connection.
The study, published Wednesday in BMJ, found that pregnant women who lived within 2,000 meters (approximately 1.2 miles) of a highly-sprayed agricultural area in California had children who were 10 to 16 percent more likely to develop autism and 30 percent more likely to develop severe autism that impacted their intellectual ability. If the children were exposed to pesticides during their first year of life, the risk they would develop autism went up to 50 percent.
ExxonMobil could be the second company after Monsanto to lose lobbying access to members of European Parliament after it failed to turn up to a hearing Thursday into whether or not the oil giant knowingly spread false information about climate change.
The call to ban the company was submitted by Green Member of European Parliament (MEP) Molly Scott Cato and should be decided in a vote in late April, The Guardian reported.
Bernie Sanders has become the first contender in the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential primary field to pledge to offset all of the greenhouse gas emissions released by campaign travel, The Huffington Post reported Thursday.