Apple Launches Minority-Owned Environmental Business Accelerator - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Sourcing Renewables  -  August 18, 2021

Apple Launches Accelerator for Minority-Owned Environmental Businesses

Apple announced the first cohort for its Impact Accelerator, a new program focused on supporting minority-owned businesses that develop environmentally-focused solutions.

The tech company selected 15 businesses to participate in the program, all based in the U.S. including in Silicon Valley, Detroit and tribal nations across the Midwest. In order to be selected, the businesses had to focus on driving innovation in energy efficiency, solar, green chemistry, recycling, and other environmental areas.

One of the 15 businesses selected by Apple was Volt Energy Utility, which develops, finances and operates public and private utility-scale solar projects. The firm offers an “Environmental Justice Power Purchase Agreement,” which exclusively funds clean energy projects in underserved communities.

Apple’s accelerator program will offer the cohort courses, live sessions and one-on-one meetings with its mentors to identify ways to align their businesses with Apple’s environmental goals. Apple will also provide ongoing mentorship and an expanding network of alumni companies to connect with. Additionally, companies who participate in the accelerator will be considered after the program to become suppliers for Apple as it pursues its 2030 carbon-neutral supply chain goal.

“We are thrilled to welcome our first Impact Accelerator class, and look forward to seeing how these innovative businesses will expand their work to protect the planet and our communities,” Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives, said in a statement. “On our journey to our 2030 carbon neutral goal for our supply chain and products, we're determined to help create a greener and more equitable future for all people. The businesses we're partnering with today are poised to become tomorrow's diverse and innovative industry leaders, creating ripples of change to help communities everywhere adapt to the urgent challenges posed by climate change.”

Apple first announced the new accelerator last year as part of its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative.

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