Apple goes green in China with solar power and WWF partnership

Apple has been bolstering its green credentials with the announcement of a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to launch a major forestland project which will run for years over in China.

The scheme aims to protect up to a million acres of “responsibly managed forests” across the country, Apple notes, and these are working forests for use in the production of paper and so forth.

Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environmental Initiatives, commented: “Forests, like energy, can be renewable resources. 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 also wants to power its global operations entirely with renewable energy, and to that end, the company is expanding its renewable energy projects to include manufacturing plants over in China.

A few weeks back, Apple kicked off a one project involving solar power – featuring a pair of 20-megawatt solar farms – in Sichuan Province which the firm claims will generate 80 million kilowatt hours of energy every year. That’s enough to power Cupertino’s Chinese HQ and all retail shops across China, and then some.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, commented: “We’ve set an example by greening our data centres, retail stores and corporate offices, and we’re ready to start leading the way toward reducing carbon emissions from manufacturing.

“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.”

Apple does, of course, have a vested interest in being seen to do some good in China, given its major manufacturing chain suppliers in the country are often embroiled in controversy for one reason or another (usually involving worker conditions).