How Apple’s renewables investment will decarbonise entire supply chain
Multinational tech giant Apple has called on its suppliers to operate on 100% renewable energy, while giving customers the option to charge their phones using green electricity only.
Under its programme of working towards carbon neutrality across its entire business, supply chain and product lifecycle by 2030, Apple is asking its suppliers to use renewable energy only for processes and activities related to manufacturing Apple products.
To help achieve this the company will work with suppliers to support the switch, and also invest in clean energy facilities around the world.
The tech company has been carbon neutral in its global corporate operations since 2020, and said it will now track the progress of its manufacturing partners annually to ensure decarbonisation strategies are being implemented in its wider footprint.
The company recently shifted some of its iPhone 14 production to India from China – and analysts believe this latest push for renewable energy consumption, waste reduction and greater use of recycled materials will reduce the supply chain’s exposure to energy and material price volatility.
To enable suppliers to reach these goals, the company is asking suppliers to report on their Scope 1 and 2 emissions and reduction levels, as well as offering free e-learning resources and live trainings through its Clean Energy Program, with more than 10 supplier representatives having participated in the live trainings this year.
It also said it is working closely with suppliers and local partners to identify solutions for renewable energy usage and carbon removal opportunities.
Apple said it plans to donate these resources to a public training platform which will be free for businesses in any sector or industries, whether part of its supply chain or not, as a means to speed the transition to 100% clean energy and carbon neutrality.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, said: “Fighting climate change remains one of Apple’s most urgent priorities, and moments like this put action to those words. We’re looking forward to continued partnership with our suppliers to make Apple’s supply chain carbon neutral by 2030. Climate action at Apple doesn’t stop at our doors, and in this work, we’re determined to be a ripple in the pond that creates a bigger change.”
The company also announced plans to facilitate construction of large-scale solar and wind projects in Europe, of between 30 and 300MW in capacity, following a request for proposals earlier this year. Over the next several years, the company aims to procure enough renewable energy to power all Apple devices on the continent with low-carbon electricity.
These investments are part of the company’s umbrella strategy to address both its upstream and downstream carbon footprint – including the 22% of carbon emissions caused by customers charging their devices.
From October iPhones in the US will have a new feature for green energy charging only. The option uses AI to analyse users’ charging behaviours and compare it with times when the national grid is most likely to be transmitting electricity from renewable sources. By activating this setting phones will only be capable of charging when green energy is available.
Apple has also announced several climate focused projects including a partnership with China Green Carbon Foundation on building networks to increase the amount and quality of responsibly managed nature-based carbon sinks; and a partnership with ChangemakerXchange to strengthen climate action and leadership in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.