Apple's Green Update Is A Huge Power Milestone

Apple has been steadily pushing clean energy alternatives for itself and many of its suppliers around the world for the past several years, with a current total of 213 companies spread across 25 different countries (PDF) — from 3M to LG Energy Solution and Samsung SDI Co to Yuto. It's a team effort that Apple believes will speed its progress towards a goal of making its entire supply chain carbon neutral by 2030.

The progress made so far adds up to what Apple says is a reduction of 13.9 million metric tons of carbon emissions throughout 2021. Apple claims that equates to the emission levels of almost three million gas-powered vehicles being driven for a year, or according to the EPA's greenhouse gas conversion calculator, the yearly emissions of roughly four coal-burning power plants. It's unclear if these numbers are solely made up of companies switching to green energy, or if the purchase of carbon offsets is also being incorporated. So, if roughly 20% of Apple's supplier renewable energy mechanisms are offsets as its report suggests, the actual amount of carbon reduction could be a bit closer to 11 million tons.

"Clean energy is good for business and good for the planet," said Apple VP of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives, Lisa Jackson, in the press release, "By sharing what we learned in our own transition to renewables, we are helping point the way to a greener future."

It goes beyond corporations, too

In addition to bringing more of its suppliers and other partners on board to further reduce its overall environmental impact, Apple has also been assisting several communities around the world that are being impacted by climate change. This has included supporting solar energy projects in Columbia, the Philippines, and South Africa, with plans to expand through Israel, Nigeria, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Projects like this are, according to Apple, intended to help these communities in multiple ways. From reducing their carbon footprints and saving money on energy costs, to supplying jobs to those communities by way of the projects themselves. It also believes that by spending less money on energy, that money can then be invested back into these communities for economic and social support.

One more of Apple's stated goals on carbon emission reduction is policy change, which it says has been an ongoing process with other companies and nonprofits to try and convince various governments to switch to renewable energy sources. This has been something of a challenge, Apple reports, as fossil fuels have a cost advantage due to government subsidies.