Apple, in partnership with Conservation International and Goldman Sachs, has announced a new $200 million carbon removal initiative called the Restore Fund.
The initiative will make investments in forestry projects to remove carbon from the atmosphere while also generating returns for investors. It's part of Apple's broader plan to go carbon neutral across its entire business footprint by 2030.
Apple's Restore Fund will aim to remove at least 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually, equivalent to the fuel used by 200,000 vehicles. The company also wants to demonstrate a "viable financial model" that could boost investments in other forest restoration projects.
"Nature provides some of the best tools to remove carbon from the atmosphere. Forests, wetlands, and grasslands draw carbon from the atmosphere and store it away permanently in their soils, roots, and branches," said Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives.
While Apple says it will directly remove 75% of emissions from its supply chain and products by 2030, the Restore Fund will help address the remaining 25% of the company's emissions. The project will use international standards used by organizations like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to quantify the removed carbon.
"Trees absorb carbon as they grow, with researchers estimating that tropical forests hold more carbon than humanity has emitted over the past 30 years from burning coal, oil, and natural gas, despite ongoing deforestation. The partnership aims to unlock the potential of this natural solution by scaling it in a way that makes it attractive to businesses," Apple said.
In addition to ensuring the fund meets environmental and social standards, Conversation International is also a co-investor in the fund, which will be managed by Goldman Sachs.
"Through creating a fund that generates both a financial return as well as real, and measurable carbon impacts, we aim to drive broader change in the future — encouraging investment in carbon removal around the globe. Our hope is that others share our goals and contribute their resources to support and protect critical ecosystems," Jackson said.
Apple says the Restore Fund builds on its existing legacy of forestry conversation work. For example, the Cupertino tech giant says it ha used 100% responsibly sourced fibers in its packaging and has improved the management of more than one million acres of forests across the globe.
The company says that customers can also take part in supporting forestry and carbon removal projects. For each Apple Pay purchase through Earth Day 2021, Apple will make a donation to Conversation International.
Apple has been making progress toward its carbon neutrality goal since announcing it in 2020. In March, the company said that 110 of its supply chain partners had committed to 100% renewable energy. It also announced new investments in clean energy projects and a new battery initiative in California.