On Earth Day, we promised to keep you posted on our progress in reducing Apple’s environmental impact. We’re back with a few updates.
First, we recently submitted our 2013 carbon emissions data to the CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project). For the past six years, we’ve been measuring and publishing our carbon footprint — not just for the facilities we own but also for our supply chain and even our customers’ use of Apple products. We heard from some shareholders that making this information available through the CDP would help them more easily track our environmental performance. So you can expect to see Apple’s data in the CDP’s next report this fall.
Second, while focusing on our climate data, we decided to recalculate our 2012 emissions using our newest methodology — the same model we used to calculate our 2013 numbers. The new analysis shows that our carbon footprint actually shrank by 3 percent from 2012 to 2013. This marked the first time we’ve seen a year-over-year decline since we began tracking the numbers in 2009. While we’re excited about this progress, we know our work is far from done.
We also released our full 2014 Environmental Responsibility Report, previously called the Facilities Environmental Footprint Report. We gave an extensive preview of its content when we launched this website 10 weeks ago, but we have additional details and progress to share:
- We’re now powering 145 of our U.S. retail stores and all of our retail stores in Australia with 100 percent renewable energy.
- Thanks to our clean-power investments, our carbon footprint from energy use dropped by 31 percent from fiscal 2011 to fiscal 2013 — even though our overall energy consumption increased by 42 percent during that time.
- The energy efficiency programs we applied to our corporate offices in the Cupertino area over the past three years saved 28.5 million kWh of electricity and 751,000 therms of natural gas.
- The commute alternatives program for our employees provided more than 1 million trips and helped avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking more than 15,000 vehicles off the road.
The new report also highlights some of the challenges we face:
- Our water consumption rose significantly in 2013, in part due to construction and other expansion activities.
- Carbon emissions from our manufacturing partners remain the largest portion of our carbon footprint, an area we’re committed to addressing.
Good data leads to good decisions, and we’re already using the data from this year’s report to inform the work that will fill the pages of next year’s. Stay tuned.
At Apple, we believe innovation is about making things better. This simple idea drives us to take action in the face of the very real problem of climate change. We feel the responsibility to consider everything we do in order to reduce our impact on the environment. This means using greener materials and constantly inventing new ways to conserve precious resources.
We aim to create not just the best products in the world, but the best products for the world. We have a long way to go, but we are proud of our progress. For example, every one of our data centers is powered entirely by clean sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal energy. So whenever you download a song, update an app, or ask Siri a question, the energy Apple uses is provided by nature.
Of course, the cleanest energy is the energy you never use. That’s why we’ve reduced the average total power consumed by Apple products by 57 percent since 2008. And each one of our products far exceeds the strict energy efficiency guidelines set by ENERGY STAR.
We’ve led the industry in removing many harmful toxins from our products, such as PVC, brominated flame retardants, and phthalates. And we’ve recycled more than 421 million pounds of electronic waste. In fact, every Apple Retail Store will now take back Apple products for free and recycle them responsibly. We believe we must be accountable for every Apple product at every stage of its use.
“Better” means we’re never done. We push ourselves every day to develop innovations that reduce our carbon footprint, use cleaner and safer materials, and show that what’s good for the planet can also be good for business. At Apple, we continue to put nature at the center of our business and design principles. We promise to keep you updated on our journey.
Vice President of Environmental Initiatives