Yesterday evening, Apple announced a slew of new renewable energy initiatives in China. According to Apple, these projects will help it avoid adding over 20-million metric tons of greenhouse gases to the planet’s atmosphere between now and 2020.
The main contributor to this milestone is the recent completion of the company’s 40 megawatt solar project in China’s Sichuan province. With the power plant producing energy, the company says its in-country offices and retail operations are now completely carbon neutral. That number is actually better than what Apple has been able to achieve in other parts of the world where around 87 percent of its operations are carbon neutral.
Moving forward, Apple plans to build another 200 megawatts of solar power producing projects over the next couple of years. These solar farms will be located throughout the country, and will help the company offset the carbon footprint in its supply chain.
As part of last night’s announcement, Foxconn, likely Apple’s most important manufacturing partner, has pledged to build 400 megawatts of solar production. By 2018, the electronics manufacturing powerhouse expects to completely offset the footprint of its Zhengzhou factory, where final iPhone assembly is completed.
Apple says it will work with its other supply chain partners to build two gigawatts of additional renewable power sources over the next couple of years. It will also advise them on best practices when it comes to procuring clean energy.
“Being responsible, protecting air and water, and driving clean energy are at the heart of Apple’s commitment to China,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, in a statement issued to MobileSyrup. “These projects go beyond Apple’s operations in China to help our suppliers adopt clean renewable energy.”
Earlier this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook joined the CEO Council for Sustainable Urbanization to help fight climate change in China.