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Tim Cook calls on Apple's suppliers to decarbonize by 2030

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Apple says it is accelerating its work with suppliers and expanding clean energy investment to cut the use of carbon and fight climate change.

Apple has been continuously working toward removing the use of carbon in its manufacturing, including the 2019 founding of a Green Bond program. More recently, it's become the first company in the world to use low-carbon aluminum.

Now Apple's CEO Tim Cook is calling on its suppliers to accelerate the decarbonization of Apple-related production.

"Fighting climate change remains one of Apple's most urgent priorities, and moments like this put action to those words," Cook in a statement. "We're looking forward to continued partnership with our suppliers to make Apple's supply chain carbon neutral by 2030."

"Climate action at Apple doesn't stop at our doors," he continued, "and in this work, we're determined to be a ripple in the pond that creates a bigger change."

Apple says that it has been carbon neutral for its global corporate operations since 2020, and is now "laser-focused on its ambitious goal to become carbon neutral across its entire global supply chain and the life cycle of every product."

As part of this, Apple is requiring progress reports from its suppliers, and "will track and audit annual progress." Apple says that it will "partner with suppliers that are working with urgency and making measurable progress toward decarbonization."

It's also offering a suite of online learning resources and live training, as it "works closely with its suppliers and local partners to identify effective solutions for renewable energy and carbon removal."

Reportedly, over 150 representatives from suppliers have participated in the live training during 2022 alone. Apple now plans to donate the resources it has created for the training, to create a "first-of-its-kind public training platform that is free for businesses across many different industries."

Expanding clean energy use

Apple also says that it now plans to facilitate the building of large-scale solar and wind projects across Europe. The company previously sought proposals for such projects, and over the next several years will implement ones producing between 30 and 300 megawatts.

"In total, the planned investments will add 3,000 gigawatt hours per year of new renewable energy on the grid," says Apple.

Users can play their part

US iPhone users on iOS 16 will be able to see what sources of electricity are being use to charge the phone, and optimize "for when the grid is using cleaner energy sources like solar or wind."

The new Clean Energy option in iOS 16, for US users

Starting this month, iOS 16 will feature a Clean Energy Charging option for US users. "iPhone learns from your daily charging routine," says the new option in Settings, "so it can reach full charge before you need to use it."

Three new Restore Fund projects

Apple is also expanding on its Restore Fund, a project in partnership with both Goldman Sachs and Conservation International. The Fund aims to "generate a financial return while removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere," and is concentrating on forestry work.

As part of the new announcement, Apple has invested with what it describes as "three high-quality forestry managers" in Brazil and Paraguay. It aims to restore 150,000 acres of sustainable forest, and protect approximately 100,000 acres of native forests, grasslands, and wetlands.

Again, Apple will be monitoring progress, this time working with other partners to analyze satellite imagery and also use "innovative remote sensing technologies."

The intention is that, overall, the new Restore Fund projects will see one million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere in 2025.

Apple's solar panel array in  Brown County, Texas.
Apple's solar panel array in Brown County, Texas.

New worldwide partnerships

Apple says it is now working with the World Wildlife Fund in Namibia and Zimbabwe, where a Climate Crowd program works with local communities. In China, Apple and the China Green Carbon Foundation will support "identifying and mapping prioritized areas," and develop better forest management techniques.

In Europe, the Middle East, and also North Africa, Apple is working with ChangemakerXchange to create a network that will "connect, build, and uplift youth-led climate innovation."

Apple is also continuing its partnership with Conservation International for livestock management in the Chyulu Hills region of Kenya.