Apple is outperforming other technology giants like Dell, Google, HP, Microsoft, and Nvidia when it comes to fighting climate change, a new report by the environmental non-profit Stand.earth reveals. In contrast to its peers, Apple is the only one among these to have set renewable energy targets for its suppliers, taking a proactive stance in encouraging the transition towards clean energy.
Although not without imperfections, Apple's initiative in pushing for renewable energy utilization among its suppliers sets a remarkable example, the report emphasizes. Stand.earth's Global Climate Policy Director, Gary Cook, has urged other brands to adopt similar strategies, sending clear signals to their own suppliers.
Evaluating Green Energy Usage Strategies
Tech companies, which account for a sizable 4 percent of global greenhouse emissions—surpassing even aviation—need to be more strategic in their renewable energy acquisitions, according to Stand.earth. The report highlights the use of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) by companies like Apple to support clean energy projects, though it cautions how this financial incentive is often insufficient to bring more renewable energy online. In response, Apple, Google, and Microsoft have evolved strategies to inject more renewable energy into local grids.
Furthermore, the report has urged tech companies to collaborate more efficiently in the fight against climate change, using their collective influence to advocate for policies that promote the adoption of clean energy.
Underestimating the Importance of Supply Chain Emissions
The report also revealed that the most significant part of a company's carbon footprint usually comes from the supply chain. By 2030, Apple aims to be carbon-neutral across its operations and supply chain. The number of Apple suppliers using clean energy doubled between 2021 and 2022, with 300 committing to using only clean energy for Apple products by 2030.
Despite this progress, it has been suggested that Apple needs to be more transparent about its supply chain emission, as evidenced by another report by the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE). The report points out that Apple stopped asking its suppliers to disclose their emissions this year, raising concerns over its claim that the manufacturing process for three carbon-neutral Apple Watch products uses 100% clean electricity.
While the response from other companies has been mixed, Apple and Nvidia have reaffirmed their commitment to sustainability and emissions reductions. As the technology sector continues to grow, so does the need for accountability and sustainable practices. This report sheds light on the progress and ongoing challenges faced by industry leaders in their fight against climate change.