Apple, once a perennial target of Greenpeace, has started to open up about its successful efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.
The normally secretive tech company released a new video entitled "Better" on Monday—a day before Earth Day—narrated by CEO Tim Cook highlighting the company's clean power, recycling and energy efficiency initiatives. Apple also released a number of progress reports that provide some new information, as well as a rehashing of some earlier announcements.
Why is the company lifting the veil now? This new-found transparency could be related to its vice president of environmental initiatives. Lisa Jackson, the former embattled head of the EPA, took the job in June. It could also be for the simple reason that the company's plans to power its data centers with 100 percent renewable energy, reduce its carbon footprint and green its manufacturing operations are progressing. See the graphic below.
Apple has converted 73 percent of the energy for all of its facilities—86 percent of its corporate campuses and 100 percent of its data centers—to clean power, according to the company's report. The data center update is old news: Apple reported last year that had reached the 100 percent clean power goal.
However, Apple did reveal a little more about one of its newer data centers in Prineville, Oregon. Apple confirmed that the Prineville facility, which will be completed this year, will have a micro-hydro system that will harness the power of water that flows through the local irrigation canals.
The company said its Reno, Nevada data center, which will be operational in 2015, will use a new kind of photovoltaic panel with curved mirrors to concentrate the sunlight in its 18- to 20-megawatt solar array. The solar array will have an annual production capacity of more than 43 million kilowatt-hours of clean energy.
Apple is also steadily ticking off its retail stores. Apple is powering more than 120 U.S. retail stores with renewable energy, according to the company's report. That leaves 135 U.S. stores, according to information on the company's website.
Here's the Better video below:
— By Kirsten Korosec
on April 21, 2014, 12:36 PM PST
Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona.
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