Renewable energy focus: Apple releases Environmental Responsibility report

Jonathan Stewart
10 July, 2014
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Renewable energy, apple, report, macworld australiaApple issued its Environmental Responsibility report for 2014 today and updated its Environmental Responsibility page online, the first example of Apple’s Earth Day promise to increase updates on its environmental impact to consumers.

According to the report, Apple is focusing upon renewable energy sources, the use of greener materials in its products and the conservation of resources, and is making progress in all three areas.

According to the company, 73 percent of its facilities around the global run entirely off renewable energy, including the head offices in Cupertino and Elk Grove, California; Austin, Texas; Munich, Germany; and Cork, Ireland.

The company’s data centres in North Carolina, Oregon, Nevada and California are 100 percent powered by renewable energy, as well as the 21 Australian and 145 US retail stores.

Also of note, Apple will be providing its carbon emissions data to the Carbon Disclosure Project and has re-evaluated its emissions data from 2012, and believes it has diminished its carbon footprint by three percent in the year to 2013.

A few other things of note:

  • Apple’s carbon footprint from energy use dropped by 31 percent from fiscal year 2011 to fiscal year 2013 — even though overall energy consumption increased by 44 percent during that time.
  • The energy efficiency programs applied to Apple corporate offices in the Cupertino area over the past three years saved 28.5 million kilowatts per hour of electricity and 751,000 therms of natural gas.
  • The commute alternatives program for Apple employees provided more than one million trips and helped avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking more than 15,000 vehicles off the road.

For a more detailed look, the full report is available to view in PDF format here.

Apple has named two areas of interest that it wishes to address, the first being the increase in water consumption throughout 2013, which it attributes in part to construction and the second is the carbon emissions from its manufacturing partners.

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