Apple has announced a new first-of-its-kind investment fund in China to connect suppliers with renewable energy sources. As part of Apple’s commitment to address climate change and increase the use of renewable energy within its supply chain, 10 initial suppliers and Apple will jointly invest nearly $300 million over the next four years into the China Clean Energy Fund. The fund will invest in and develop clean energy projects totalling more than 1 gigawatt of renewable energy in China, the equivalent of powering nearly 1 million homes.
“At Apple, we are proud to join with companies that are stepping up to address the climate challenge,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. “We’re thrilled so many of our suppliers are participating in the fund and hope this model can be replicated globally to help businesses of all sizes make a significant positive impact on our planet.”
Transitioning to clean energy can be complex. This is especially true for smaller companies that may not have access to viable clean energy sources. By virtue of its size and scale, the China Clean Energy Fund will give its participants the advantage of greater purchasing power and the ability to attain more attractive and diverse clean energy solutions. The China Clean Energy Fund will be managed through a third party, DWS Group, which specialises in sustainable investments and will also invest in the fund.
This news follows Apple’s announcement earlier this year that its global facilities are powered by 100 percent clean energy and the launch of its Supplier Clean Energy Program in 2015. Since that program began, 23 manufacturing partners, operating in more than 10 different countries, have committed to powering all of their Apple production with 100 percent clean energy. Apple and its suppliers will generate more than 4 gigawatts of new clean energy worldwide by 2020 — representing one-third of Apple’s current manufacturing electricity footprint.
Apple is also working with its suppliers to find new ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The company recently announced it reached a breakthrough with aluminium suppliers Alcoa Corporation and Rio Tinto Aluminium on a new technology that eliminates direct greenhouse gas emissions from the traditional smelting process, a key step in aluminium production.
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