Apple and Foxconn are teaming up to build solar power plants that will ensure its iPhone-manufacturing factories in China run on 100 percent clean energy.
Foxconn has committed to constructing more than 400 megawatts of solar power plants, beginning in China’s Henan Province, by 2018. Apple will also build an addition 200 megawatts of solar projects throughout China, helping offset the carbon produced by the rest of its supply chain.
The carbon footprint impact this will have is reportedly equivalent to taking 4 million cars off the road for an entire year.
“We are excited to embark on this initiative with Apple,” Foxconn CEO Terry Gou said. “Our companies share a vision for driving sustainability and I hope that this renewable energy project will serve as a catalyst for continued efforts to promote a greener ecosystem in our industry and beyond.”
“Climate change is one of the great challenges of our time, and the time for action is now,” Tim Cook said in a statement.
In addition to the two new projects, Apple also announced that construction on 40 megawatts of solar projects in China’s Sichuan Province is now complete.
The solar power generated by these produces more than the total amount of energy used by Apple’s offices and Apple Stores in China — meaning that Apple’s operations are now entirely carbon neutral in the country.
This isn’t the first environmental initiatives Apple has made in China. Earlier this year, Tim Cook joined popular Chinese microblogging service Weibo to announce that Apple is funding a five year project to manage 1 million acres of forests across China.
This project is being managed by the World Wildlife Fund, and will include the planting of new trees, alongside the implementing of new environmental standards to produce less pollution in paper-manufacturing.
Under Cook’s leadership, Apple has turned the corner on environmental issues. Nowhere is this better illustrated than by Greenpeace’s reevaluation of the company, which was criticized during Jobs’ era for its lack of green concern.
In Greenpeace’s latest report card, the organization noted that, “Apple’s commitment to renewable energy has helped set a new bar for the industry, illustrating in very concrete terms that a 100 percent renewable Internet is within its reach and providing several models of intervention for other companies that want to build a sustainable Internet.”
Well done, Apple!