Apple isn’t a stranger to environmental support. Back in 2016, for example, Apps for Earth launched to raise money for conservation and earned more than $8 million by the end of the campaign. But the company has never taken a step like this before: Apple has officially announced a $300 million fund to support clean energy in China.
Not only is that a massive escalation in environmental efforts, it’s also a directed push to improve energy quality in one country, and both steps are a bit unusual.
Here’s how it will work: Over the next four years, Apple will be working with 10 different suppliers, funding from its China Clean Energy Fund, which will be run by the DWS Group — a European organization that specializes in helping companies find clean energy sources, especially smaller companies that may not have the reach or funds to access clean energy on their own. All this is tied to Apple’s overall plan to “generate more than 4 gigawatts of new clean energy worldwide” by 2020.
This is interesting, and it all makes a ton of sense. China has become infamous for its dirty city air and pollution issues. Over the past couple years, the government has started to intervene and support clean energy initiatives to help ditch the poor publicity. Apple can easily make friends with the Chinese government and connect its brand to environmental efforts among Chinese consumers with this new fund, so it’s a win-win (with another win in there for planet Earth).
If you’re curious about the Chinese suppliers that Apple is working with, they include Gold Arrow, Pegatron, Solvay, Catcher Technology, Compal, Corning Incorporated, and Jabil – many of whom have been working with Apple for years, so this also means that Apple is indirectly using more clean energy to manufacture its products.
What’s next? Is Apple going to start creating more environmental funds like these, targeted at other regions? China may be a special case, since it’s such an important target market for Apple and is home to so many Apple manufacturers. However, we wouldn’t be surprised to see funds announced for similar countries like India as well.