Apple supply chain doubled clean energy use in 2021


Apple supply chain doubled clean energy use in 2021


Apple suppliers have more than doubled their clean energy use over the past year, the tech giant said on Thursday. The increase in renewable energy helped avoid 13.9 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide pollutions from the atmosphere, equivalent to removing 3 million cars off the road for a year.

It’s part of Apple’s plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 to combat global warming. The company made climate pledge in 2020, committing to reducing greenhouse emissions by 75% this decade and offsetting the remaining 25% by carbon removal.

Most companies only vowed to eliminate pollution from their direct operations and electricity consumption, which are known as Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. However, indirect emissions from supply chain and consumers’ use of products usually account for the majority of companies’ carbon footprint. Apple has thus promised to include these emissions in its reduction plan.

The company said that 213 of its main manufacturing partners have committed to power all Apple production with renewable electricity across 25 countries, bringing the total amount of renewable energy to over 10 GW, close to Apple’s goal of roughly 16 GW in the coming years.

However, claims of using ‘100% clean electricity’ aren’t as easy as it looks. The low supply of renewable energy and insufficient grid capacity make it difficult for all companies to procure renewable energy. Therefore, firms often purchase renewable energy certificates (RECs) from power providers, which represent the environmental benefits of renewable energy projects, allowing companies to offset their greenhouse gas emissions.

Not only Apple itself has purchased green electricity certificates, but its suppliers have also purchased them. Of the renewable energy procured by Apple’s suppliers in 2021, 79% are purchased directly from power providers, 8% was made up of RECs, 10% come from investing in new renewable energy projects, and the other 3% come from renewable energy generated on-site at a supplier's facility.

According to an update on the program released by Apple, the company’s Supplier Clean Energy Program purchased credits equivalent to 360,000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions to address a slight increase in its carbon footprint.

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