Apple Is Powered Entirely by Renewable Energy (Sort Of)
The company announced its facilities across the globe are using green energy.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
Apple says it has gone completely green.
According to a release published on the company's website Monday, the Cupertino-based tech giant says it now is powered completely by renewable energy. That includes the company's headquarters as well as retail stores, offices, data centers, and co-located facilities in 43 countries throughout the world.
"We're going to keep pushing the boundaries," CEO Tim Cook said in a statement, "of what is possible with the materials in our products, the way we recycle them, our facilities and our work with suppliers to establish new creative and forward-looking sources of renewable energy because we know the future depends on it."
Apple made headlines last year when it revealed that its new "spaceship" headquarters, Apple Park, would be powered by 100 percent renewable energy. The roof of the facility's main ring-shaped building, which houses some 12,000 employees, is covered entirely with solar panels.
There's a catch with the company's new milestone, though: Not all of its facilities are directly powered by green energy. In some cases, Apple uses traditional energy sources, then buys an equal amount of renewable energy in an effort to offset its carbon footprint. According to Engadget, the company uses these renewable energy certificates (or RECs) for about 34 percent of its usage.
Companies like Google have begun engaging in similar practices in recent years. Apple's announcement comes less than a week after the search giant revealed it had purchased enough renewable energy to match 100 percent of its energy consumption. Apple, meanwhile, arguably has shown more of a commitment to generating green energy on its own, as demonstrated at its new campus.
There's an obvious public relations benefit to going green, especially at a time when the U.S. government has come under fire for reversing many of the country's commitments to clean energy. Since taking office, President Trump has pulled the country out of the Paris climate change accord, proposed cutting the Environmental Protection Agency's budget by 26 percent, and placed tariffs on solar panels imported from countries like China and South Korea.
With a market cap of more than $900 billion, Apple can certainly afford to spend some extra money on neutralizing its carbon footprint. Still, committing to clean energy is a noble cause. Apple and Google are trendsetters in a lot of ways, so it's possible other tech companies will follow their lead in trying to limit the negative impact they have on the environment.
Apple says that all of its data centers have been powered by renewable energy since 2014. The company says it has 25 operational clean energy projects around the world, with another 15 projects currently in construction. Once those are complete, Apple will produce 1.4 gigawatts, or 1.4 billion watts, of renewable energy.