Apple has slashed carbon emissions by 60% - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Energy Procurement, GHG Emissions, Industrial, Sourcing Renewables  -  April 18, 2016

Apple has slashed carbon emissions by 60% since 2011 via efficiency, renewable sourcing

Following Apple's splashy March  announcement that it now operates 93% of its facilities worldwide with renewable energy, the company revealed more details about its energy strategy in its 2015 corporate sustainability report

In addition to powering its facilities with more renewable energy than ever — Apple's renewable strategy is a three-pronged approach: it generates its own power through solar arrays, biogas fuel cells and microhydro generation systems; buys projects; and purchases renewable energy credits — the company has also made strides in energy efficiency.  Together, those efforts have reduced carbon emissions from Apple facilities by 64% since fiscal year 2011, according to the report.

Apple has also targeted emissions reductions and energy efficiency savings within its supply chain. The company said electricity it uses in its supply chain to process raw materials, make parts, and assemble products is the single biggest source of its carbon footprint and makes up more than 60% of its manufacturing emissions. To that end, Apple started engaging directly with suppliers in 2015 to assess their energy use with detailed energy audits.

We conducted 13 energy audits at supplier facilities in China, Taiwan, and Japan last year, identifying more than US$32 million in annual savings opportunities. This corresponds to reductions of approximately 224 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and 269,000 million British thermal units of fuel. From these identified improvements, suppliers have already reduced over 18 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, avoiding 13,800 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents.

Another highlight of Apple's report is its February issuance of a $1.5 billion green bond to finance its clean energy, energy efficiency and resource conservation projects in 2016. The issuance was the first ever by a U.S. tech company. 

Green bonds are classified as "green" for the requirement that capital raised through them be exclusively used for environment-friendly investments. The emerging asset class has been viewed as a fast-growing source of low-cost debt for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs.

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