Apple to protect million acres of working forest in China

Apple's green drive in China

Technology giant Apple is taking its clean energy and sustainability drive to China, too.

Besides initiatives to produce power required for operating its own offices and stores in China from renewables, Apple has also announced a multi-year project with World Wildlife Fund to “significantly increase responsibly managed forests across China”.

The forestation program would protect about a million acres of “responsibly managed working forests”, that is, forests grown to provide fiber for pulp, paper and wood products on commercial scale.

Apple has stated that its goal is to achieve net-zero impact on the global supply of virgin fiber.

“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,” the company has stated.

It has been switching operations of its premises worldwide from conventional power sources to renewable energy. Apple recently announced that its US operations are now entirely powered by renewable energy sources.

The company also stated in its Environmental Responsibility Report for 2015 (covering financial year 2014), that 87 percent of its global operations were also entirely driven by renewable energy.

Lisa Jackson, the vice president of environmental initiatives at Apple, said forests can be renewable resources just as energy is.

“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,” Jackson said. “This is an important step toward that goal and our commitment to leave the world better than we found it.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook has stated that his company was in a position to initiate the effort although the greening initiatives would take years to become effective.

“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,” Cook said.

Three weeks ago Apple launched its first big solar project in China. The twin installations in Sichuan province are of a combined capacity of 20 megawatts, and are capable of generating 80 million kilowatt hours per year of clean energy.

It is adequate to meet all the energy needs of the company’s corporate offices and retail stores in China, a statement said.

Ajith Kumar S