Apple announces clean-energy investments in China

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Technology giant Apple plans to boost its green credentials in China by investing in solar power generators and helping its manufacturing partners in the country become more environmentally friendly.

Announcing the moves, Apple CEO Tim Cook said they will avoid over 20 million tonnes of greenhouse gas pollution in China between now and 2020, equivalent to taking nearly four million passenger vehicles off the road for a year, Xinhua news agency reported.

The new generators will be built in the north, east and south of China, producing enough energy to power 265,000 Chinese homes, according to Apple.

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It has already finished building solar installations in China’s Sichuan province. The first to be built by Apple outside the US.

They are designed to produce more than the total amount of electricity used by Apple’s 19 corporate offices and 24 retail stores in Beijing and Hong Kong, offsetting the energy used in the company’s supply chain.

“Climate change is one of the great challenges of our time, and the time for action is now,” said Cook.

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“The transition to a new green economy requires innovation, ambition and purpose. We hope that many other suppliers, partners and other companies join us in this important effort.”

Apple said it will share its best practices in procuring clean energy with its Chinese suppliers, and help them with energy efficiency audits and regulatory guidance.

It will also partner with them to install clean energy generators in the coming years, Cook said.

Apple’s major supplier, Foxconn, plans to build solar power generators with around twice the capacity of those announced by Apple, by 2018.

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“I hope that this renewable energy project will serve as a catalyst for continued efforts to promote a greener ecosystem in our industry and beyond,” said Terry Gou, Foxconn founder and CEO.

Apple has 334 suppliers in China, and 72 percent of its carbon emissions are generated in its supply chain.

Apple was last month ranked in first place by the CITI Index, measuring brands’ environmental supply chain performance in China.

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