Apple highlights latest efforts ‘to leave the world better than we found it’

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apple solar farm
Apple's newest solar farm in China.
Photo: Apple

Apple is leading the charge in environmental responsibility, and it’s only just getting started.

That’s the message from the company’s 2015 progress report, which details all the ways Apple is striving “to leave the world better than we found it.”

100 percent of the company’s U.S. operations and 87 percent of its worldwide operations (corporate buildings, data centers and Apple stores) already run on renewable energy, “but our goal is to power all of them with 100 percent renewable energy,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environmental initiatives, in today’s progress report. “So we’re tapping into energy from solar, wind, micro-hydro, biogas fuel cells, and geothermal sources. We’re designing new buildings and updating existing ones to use as little electricity as possible. And we’re investing in our own Apple onsite energy production as well as establishing relationships with third-party energy suppliers to source renewable energy.”

One particularly stunning number: Thanks to Apple’s recycling programs around the world, 508 million pounds of waste has been kept out of landfills since 2008.

“We’ve led the industry in removing many harmful toxins from our products, such as PVC, brominated flame retardants, and phthalates,” said Jackson. “And we’ve designed iPhone 6, iPad Air 2, and MacBook to be beryllium-free. Many toxins are restricted not only in the products themselves but also in the manufacturing process, because we are committed to providing safe working conditions for the people who make, use, and recycle our products.”

Jackson has been busy since she left the government and joined Apple in 2013. Just last week she announced two major initiatives: a partnership with The Conservation Fund to purchase a 36,000-acre forest so Apple’s product packaging will be made of sustainable materials, and the building of two solar plants in China.

You can read Apple’s full 2015 progress report on its updated environmental responsibility webpage.