Business / Trendsetter

Apple announces new environmental initiatives in China

By Liu Zheng ( Updated: 2015-05-11 15:15

Apple announces new environmental initiatives in China

Workers prepare for the opening of an Apple store in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, in this January 23, 2015 file photo.[Photo/Agencies]

Apple Inc announced new environmental protection initiatives that include a multi-year project with World Wildlife Fund to increase responsibly managed forests across China on Monday.

According to the company's press statement, the new forestland program aims to protect as much as 1 million acres of responsibly managed working forests which provide fiber for pulp, paper and wood products.

"Forests, like energy, can be renewable resources," said Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice-president of Environmental Initiatives. "We believe we can run on naturally renewable resources and ensure that we protect—and create—as much sustainable working forest as needed to produce the virgin paper in our product packaging. This is an important step toward that goal and our commitment to leave the world better than we found it."

Apple's goal is to achieve a net-zero impact on the world's supply of sustainable virgin fiber and power all its operations worldwide on 100 percent renewable energy.

The company also announced its intention to expand its industry-leading renewable energy projects to manufacturing facilities in China.

"We've set an example by greening our data centers, retail stores and corporate offices, and we're ready to start leading the way toward reducing carbon emissions from manufacturing," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "This won't happen overnight—in fact it will take years—but it's important work that has to happen, and Apple is in a unique position to take the initiative toward this ambitious goal. It is a responsibility we accept. We are excited to work with leaders in our supply chain who want to be on the cutting edge of China's green transformation."

Today's announcements come three weeks after Apple launched its first major solar project in China. Solar installations in Sichuan province will generate far more energy than needed to power all of Apple's corporate offices and retail stores in China.

According to the press statement, Apple is partnering with Leshan Electric Power Co, Sichuan Development Holding Co Ltd, Tianjin Tsinlien Investment Holding Co Ltd, Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor Co Ltd, and SunPower Corporation on the project encompassing two 20-megawatt solar farms.

"Together the project will generate up to 80 million kilowatt hours per year of clean energy, enough to power the equivalent of 61,000 Chinese homes. That's clean energy added to the grid that would otherwise not be there," said the statement.

"Apple's support for this project and its environmental leadership show that protecting forests is not just good for society but important for business," said Lo Sze Ping, Chief Executive Officer for WWF China.

"This collaboration between our two organizations will seek to reduce China's ecological footprint by helping produce more wood from responsibly managed forests within its own borders. Doing so is essential to China, the world's biggest timber importer. Our hope is this will catalyze a new model of corporate leadership in promoting sustainable forest management and using paper resources more efficiently and responsibly around the world."

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