As part of new environmental initiatives, Apple is funding a five year project to manage 1 million acres of forests across China — and Tim Cook has set up an account on the popular Chinese microblogging service Weibo to announce it.
The project is being managed by the World Wildlife Fund, and will include the planting of new trees as well as implementing new environmental standards to produce less pollution in paper-manufacturing.
Apple will not own the forest, as it does in Maine and North Carolina, where the company recently bought up 36,000 acres of private forest land that will be used for sustainable harvesting of material for packaging. Instead, the WWF will cooperate with farm owners as they develop sustainable methods for managing their land, with Apple stepping up to foot the bill.
Apple has also named more of its local partners for a 40 megawatt solar-power project in China. In doing so, the company wants to expand its focus on renewable energy to manufacturing in China. This follows recent news that Apple’s largest supplier Foxconn is currently in talks to raise $1.7 billion for a green fund designed to support eco projects in the country.
“This won’t happen overnight — in fact it will take years — but it’s important work that has to happen,” Tim Cook says. “Apple is in a unique position to take the initiative toward this ambitious goal. It is a responsibility we accept.”
He announced the initiatives during a trip to Beijing. To coincide with the visit, he opened a Weibo account, which picked up 216,000+ followers in its first day alone. “Happy to be back in Beijing, announcing innovative new environmental programs,” he wrote in his first post.