Apple launches new $300m clean energy fund in China



Apple, one of the world’s most recognisable brands and leading technology companies, announced last week the creation of a “first-of-its-kind” investment fund to connect its Chinese suppliers with renewable energy sources.
After increased pressure to clean up their manufacturing process, Apple has of late been making significant strides in “greening” its operations around the world.
Earlier this year the company announced that its global operations, spread out over 43 countries, was being powered 100% by renewable energy sources through Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and renewable energy certificates.
Beyond their own operations, Apple is also focusing its attention on the operations of its suppliers, and the company also announced this year that 23 of its suppliers had committed to powering their Apple-specific operations with 100% clean energy.
“Apple has demonstrated much-needed leadership among IT companies in taking responsibility for the massive carbon footprint of its supply chain in China and other parts of East Asia,” said Gary Cook, Senior Corporate Campaigner for Greenpeace, who spoke to me via email.
“Apple was the first company to extend its 100% renewable commitment to include its supply chain and has made steady progress securing commitments from nearly two dozen of its suppliers to power the Apple portion of its manufacturing lines with renewable energy.
“Apple’s Clean Energy Fund will hopefully be an important next step, providing a collaborative funding mechanism for Apple’s suppliers to drive renewable energy at much larger scale than would be possible individually.”
Announced last week, Apple has continued to expand its leadership over its supply chain by creating the China Clean Energy Fund, a $300 million investment fund that will connect its suppliers in China with renewable energy sources, using the greater purchasing power of the Fund to expand the clean energy options available that may not be available to smaller companies.
Apple is joined by 10 initial suppliers who, together, will jointly invest nearly $300 million over the next four years to invest in and develop over 1 GW worth of renewable energy projects.
”At Apple, we are proud to join with companies that are stepping up to address the climate challenge,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. “We’re thrilled so many of our suppliers are participating in the fund and hope this model can be replicated globally to help businesses of all sizes make a significant positive impact on our planet.”
The initial suppliers participating in the China Clean Energy Fund are:

  • Catcher Technology
  • Compal Electronics
  • Corning Incorporated
  • Golden Arrow
  • Jabil
  • Luxshare-ICT
  • Pegatron
  • Solvay
  • Sunway Communication
  • Wistron

Apple hopes that, after combining the supplier commitments announced earlier this year and the impact of their new China Clean Energy Fund, Apple and its suppliers will generate over 4 GW worth of new clean energy around the world by 2020 – a figure which represents approximately a third of Apple’s current manufacturing electricity footprint.

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