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Apple Aims for 100% Renewable Energy

As part of Apple’s efforts to reduce their environmental footprint, the tech giant has pledged to power all of its operations with renewable energy.

Apple’s most recent environmental impact report indicates that they already power a number of their data centers exclusively with clean energy, and 75% of their worldwide corporate facilities are currently using renewable energy sources (up from just 35% in 2010).

“We’ve already achieved 100 percent renewable energy at all of our data centers, at our facilities in Austin, Elk Grove, Cork, and Munich, and at our Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino. And for all of Apple’s corporate facilities worldwide, we’re at 75 percent, and we expect that number to grow as the amount of renewable energy available to us increases. We won’t stop working until we achieve 100 percent throughout Apple.” – Apple

One such data center, in Maiden, North Carolina, includes not only a number of energy-efficient features, but also has a 20 MW solar PV plant on the site, with a second one in the works, as well as a 10 MW fuel cell plant (the biggest non-utility fuel cell installation in the U.S.). Once all the units are online, Apple will be producing 167 million kWh of renewable energy from the center, which is the equivalent of powering 17,600 homes for one year.

The company has also made a number of other adjustments to their business to help make it greener, including avoiding the use of toxic materials in their products (such as PVC, lead, phthalates, mercury, and brominated flame retardants), reducing the amount of materials used to package their devices, and the inclusion of recycled plastics, recycled paper, biopolymers, and vegetable-based inks in various parts of their operations.

According to the report, Apple products have gained in efficiency and achieved reduced power needs over the last five years, with an estimated 40% reduction in power consumption for their devices since 2008.

Find out more at Apple: The story behind Apple’s environmental footprint.

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