Impact not growing in relation to sales, however, with many factors out of Apple's control
The 2015 edition of Apple's annual Environmental Responsibility Report covering calendar 2014 is out, and as usual highlights the company's efforts to reduce, reuse, or mitigate its use of rare materials and its carbon footprint. While it points out that all of the company's data centers are now powered by renewable energy resources and reduced its greenhouse gas emissions during product use by 61 percent over the past seven years, Apple admits there are still areas, most of which are out of its direct control, where more could be done.
Data centers in Ireland, Denmark to run on renewable energy
Apple is expanding its data center collection and improving its online services in Europe, by creating two more "state-of-the-art" facilities on the continent. New constructions based in County Galway, Ireland and Jutland, Denmark will both run completely on renewable energy, with the total investment expected to cost 1.7 billion euro ($1.9 billion) when completed.
To be built just south of HQ, will supply enough power for 60,000 homes
At the Goldman Sachs Technology and the Internet conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that the company is planning to build its "biggest, boldest, and most ambitious project" in renewable power ever -- an $850 million solar farm to be built in Monterey county, which is expected to eventually provide enough power to run all of Apple's operations -- from the new HQ to retail stores -- in the state of California.
Data centers, some stores already off the grid; suppliers next
In a new report for the UK newspaper The Guardian, Apple Senior VP of Environmental Initiatives Lisa Jackson has acknowledged that the company needs to do more to facilitate more use of renewable energy by its suppliers and partners as well as itself. The iPhone maker has had tremendous success in converting its data centers to renewable energy, and has implemented similar measures in 120 of its stores. The next target, the paper says, is its Arizona sapphire glass plant.
All Australian Apple Stores, more than 140 US stores now using 100 percent green energy
On Wednesday, Apple released its fiscal 2014 Environmental Responsibility Report and announced through it that the company will focus on achieving "net zero energy use," a goal it has already accomplished with all 21 of its Australian retail stores and 140 of its US outlets, alongside its latest data centers and its forthcoming Apple Campus 2 headquarters. The solar array that supplies most of the power used at the Maiden, North Carolina data center is the largest privately-owned array in the country.
New position will report to Environmental Operations VP Jackson
Apple has quietly announced that it has hired the former Vice President of Renewable Energy and Origination of NV Energy, Bobby Hollis, to be its new Senior Renewable Energy Manager. Hollis, who previously sat on the board of directors for the Solar Electric Power Association, will likely report to Global Energy Program Leader Mike Petouhoff, and work with Apple's head of Environmental Operations, Lisa Jackson. The new hire is part of a concentrated push by Apple to increase its "green" visibility.
Original plans for project called for 3-5Mw energy generation on seasonal basis
In order to help power its Prineville, Oregon data center with renewable energy as promised, Apple has taken over a small hydroelectric project located about two miles north of the Haystack Reservoir and 45 miles downstream from the intake. It is unclear how far the project had progressed before Apple acquired it, but original plans called for it generate 3-5 megawatts of energy on a seasonal basis, closing in the winter when the irrigation canal it relies on is shut.
Wind farm to provide power for Oklahoma data center
Google is extending its green credentials, by purchasing the entire output of another wind farm for use by one of its data centers. The Happy Hereford farm near Amarillo, Texas has sold its entire 240-megawatt output to the search provider for an undisclosed amount, with the wind farm itself set to begin production of energy from late 2014 onwards.
Google buys $200M stake in west Texas wind farm
Adding to the search giant's existing renewable energy portfolio, Google last week announced a $200 million investment in a wind farm in west Texas. Google's nearly quarter-billion dollar investment in the Spinning Spur Wind Project is the company's eleventh green energy investment since 2010. It is also one of Google's larger renewable energy investments, second only to the $280 million the company pumped into SolarCity, a solar systems company.
Google's investment in renewable energy approaches $1 billion
Google announced today that it was making an equity investment of $75 million in a 50MW wind farm near Des Moines, Iowa. The Rippey project, located in Greene County, is expected to power more than 15,000 homes in Iowa with turbines produced by Nordex USA in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The new investment brings the search giant's total committed investment in the renewable energy sector to nearly $1 billion.