Apple says it’s now powered by 100 percent renewable energy worldwide

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Apple announced today that it’s business is now powered by 100 percent renewable energy sources. The news is a major victory the iPhone maker has been working toward for years through the purchase of green energy bonds and other renewable investments in its supply chain and physical infrastructure. The company’s last milestone, announced two years ago, was 93 percent of its worldwide operations running on clean energy.

The announcement comes just one week after Google announced that it now purchases enough renewable energy to offset its global energy consumption. That’s a key difference. Apple is saying here that it is not simply offsetting its energy use by purchasing so-called Renewable Energy Certificates, or RECs, like Google does.

Apple says every store, data center, and office worldwide runs on clean energy

Apple claims that every one of its “retail stores, offices, data centers and co-located facilities in 43 countries” — including in the US, UK, China, and India — all run on 100 percent clean energy. Apple says it’s also received commitments from nine new manufacturing partners that the company’s production and supply chain is powered by clean energy, bringing the total number of Apple suppliers making such a commitment up to 23.

We’ve asked Apple to clarify what it’s definition of clean energy is, and how it’s able to confirm where the energy used to power Apple retail stores comes. Given the likelihood that Apple Stores draw electricity from municipal power grids, it is therefore impossible to determine the energy’s source and cleanliness.

“We’re committed to leaving the world better than we found it. After years of hard work we’re proud to have reached this significant milestone,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “We’re going to keep pushing the boundaries 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’s press release breaks down some of the numbers and further explains Apple’s timeline to its commitment to combat climate change, something Cook has spoken publicly about before. The chief executive notably clashed with Trump over the US exiting the Paris Climate Accord last year. Cook also told investors in 2014 that they should dump their Apple stock if they didn’t take seriously the company’s commitment to green energy and sustainability and questioned how much Apple spends on those projects. Just last week, Apple pushed back against the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan.

“Apple currently has 25 operational renewable energy projects around the world, totaling 626 megawatts of generation capacity, with 286 megawatts of solar PV generation coming online in 2017, its most ever in one year,” reads Apple’s press release from today. “It also has 15 more projects in construction. Once built, over 1.4 gigawatts of clean renewable energy generation will be spread across 11 countries.”

Since 2014, Apple says all of its data centers have been powered by 100 percent renewable energy. “And since 2011, all of Apple’s renewable energy projects have reduced greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e) by 54 percent from its facilities worldwide and prevented nearly 2.1 million metric tons of CO2e from entering the atmosphere,” the release reads.

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