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Apple is already one of the greenest technology firms on the planet. Now, Apple has made some major progress toward getting its third-party supply chain to follow suit.
In a press release published on Thursday, the Cupertino tech giant announced that it has basically doubled the number of suppliers that have committed to using 100 percent renewable energy in their manufacturing or production processes for Apple.
The list of suppliers who have made that pledge is fairly long, but it contains some notable additions.
- Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron, Apple’s primary iPhone assemblers.
- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), Apple’s A-series chip manufacturer.
- Corning, the makers of Gorilla Glass and one recipient of Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund.
- Luxshare, the primary assembly partner that puts AirPods together.
- Finisar, the firm that provides Apple with Face ID modules.
- Quanta Computer, one of the primary manufacturers of Apple Watch models.
This is especially important because, as Apple notes, manufacturing makes up about 74 percent of the company’s carbon footprint. That’s likely due to the fact that, as of last year, all of first-party Apple facilities — like data centers, offices and its spaceship headquarters — are run using completely green energy.
But now, Apple and its supply chain partners are cleaning up their Apple-specific processes by investing in a mix of clean energy technology, such as wind and solar power.
Apple has increasingly expanded it supplier education and support initiatives, too. More than 100 companies have signed onto to Apple’s Clean Energy Portal platform, for example.
With the additional green energy pledges, Apple now expects to add roughly five gigawatts of renewable energy to its supply chain by 2020 — up from the original goal of four gigawatts.
The company also announced that it has officially allocated every dollar of its $2.5 billion green bonds. That’s more than any other U.S. corporation. Apple says these green bonds help contribute to 40 environmental initiatives across the globe.
Some of the projects that those green bonds support including solar rooftops in Japan, water-conserving aquifers in Oregon, and Apple’s new 100 percent recycled aluminum alloy present in the new MacBook Air and Mac mini devices.
Lisa Jackson, Apple’s VP of environment, policy and social initiatives, told USA Today that manufacturing is one of the toughest sectors to move on climate and environmental issues. But she said that Apple has a unique opportunity to use their position to move the industry toward a green future.
Cleaning up its third-party supply chain is, of course, just some example of Apple’s continuing emphasis on environmental responsibility. Some of Apple’s other green initiatives include painstaking steps to make its packaging eco-friendly, the development of iPhone-recycling robots, and continued research into creating a “closed loop” supply chain.
“We find ways for companies to do this where it’s fine for their bottom line,” Jackson said. “(And) to dispel this notion that somehow doing right by the climate and the planet is somehow bad for business. It’s not.”