Today Apple has updated their environmental page collection and have issued a new Facilities report, showing that at this point in history, global corporate facilities inside the Apple family are at a whopping 75% renewable energy use. Apple also reports that many of their facilities are running on 100% renewable energy, including data centers in Newark, CA, Prineville, OR, and Maiden, NC. These bits and pieces are part of a report that, on the whole, shows Apple to be heading directly toward a fully renewable energy future - one we'd all like to be a part of.
According to the report released this week, Apple has increased the renewable energy use at Apple corporate facilities worldwide by 114% between fiscal 2010 and 2012. Over the last three years, Apple's now-75% global corporate facilities using has risen rapidly from the 35% it was three years ago. One example Apple is using as a key location where they've made significant progress is in Maiden, North Carolina.
Above: The nation's largest end user-owned solar photovoltaic array providing renewable energy to Apple's data center in Maiden, North Carolina.
Apple notes that their data center in Maiden is the only data center facility of its size and type to have earned full LEED Platinum certification. According to Apple, they've implemented the following in their Maiden data center location for the furtherance of energy efficiency and green building:
• A chilled water storage system to improve chiller efficiency by transferring 10,400 kWh of electricity consumption from peak to off-peak hours each day
• Use of “free” outside air cooling through a waterside economizer operation during
night and cool-weather hours, which, along with water storage, allows the chillers
to be turned off more than 75 percent of the time
• Extreme precision in managing cooling distribution for cold-air containment pods,
with variable-speed fans controlled to exactly match air flow to server requirements
from moment to moment
• Power distributed at higher voltages, which increases efficiency by reducing power loss
• White cool-roof design to provide maximum solar reflectivity
• High-efficiency LED lighting combined with motion sensors
• Real-time power monitoring and analytics during operations
• Construction processes that utilized 14 percent recycled materials, diverted 93 percent
of construction waste from landfills, and sourced 41 percent of purchased materials
within 500 miles of the site
It would appear that Apple is moving in the right direction when it comes to environmental and "green thinking" concerns, especially when you compare the raw numbers they present. The one significant up-turn that can be seen in their fiscal 2012 report is in electricity usage by business unit, with their Corporate segment staying essentially equal to fiscal 2011 while both Data Centers and Retail Stores, moving from 138 million kWh to 217 million kWh for the former and 122 to 159 for the latter.
Apple has also reported that the commute their employees take on the way to work has continued to decrease both for worldwide employees and for intercampus employees. Apple offered a transit subsidy for U.S. employees in fiscal 2012 that offered employees up to $100 USD a month for carpooling, also offering them special carpooling parking spots as a bonus. Over 11,000 Apple employees took part in this program in 2012.
This report also shows that Apple has achieved the fabulous 100% renewable energy usage goal in the following locations: Austin, Texas; Elk Grove, California; Cork, Ireland; Munich, Germany - and most Apple facilities across Australia. Apple's Infinite Loop location in Cupertino also, of course, runs on 100% renewable energy at this time.
Head in to our massive Apple hub right this minute to get more information on the goings-on in the Apple universe and stay tuned as the 2013 product range comes raining down over the next few months - we'll let you in on it all from top to bottom! Also make sure you have a peek at Apple's Environment Pages to see what they're up to in the green universe.