by Joshua S Hill
Not only are all Apple final assembly sites now zero waste compliant, but major supplier Lens Technology has agreed to run its Apple operations entirely on renewable electricity. The move pushes Apple one step closer to helping its manufacturers reduce their carbon footprints, and reduce production waste in China.
Apple already has a relatively decent track record of its own when it comes to reducing its carbon footprint, with the company’s VP of environment Lisa Jackson earlier this year claiming that 93% of Apple’s facilities worldwide run on renewable electricity. Apple has similarly made changes to its manufacturing process and product design to continue reducing its overall impact on the environment.
This week’s news shows Apple’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact not only through its own businesses, but through its business relations with various manufacturers and suppliers. Lens Technology, which amidst other things creates touch panels, has committed to power all its glass production for Apple products with 100% renewable energy by the end of 2018. Lens Technology is the first of Apple’s partners to make such a move, in line with Apple’s own supply chain clean energy program.
Apple’s initiatives are not only intended to reduce its own environmental footprint, but also to help toward cleaning the environmental landscape in China, which for so long has been ignored by big-name companies in favor of cheap labor and low manufacturing costs. Apple is working with its suppliers in China, and also announced that all 14 of its final assembly sites in China are now compliant with UL’s Zero Waste to Landfill validation — which certifies that all waste is reused, recycled, composted, or, when necessary, converted into energy.
“We want to show the world that you can manufacture responsibly and we’re working alongside our suppliers to help them lower their environmental impact in China,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. “We congratulate Lens for their bold step, and hope by sharing the lessons we’ve learned in our transition to renewable energy, our suppliers will continue to access clean power projects, moving China closer to its green manufacturing goals.”
“Our power purchase agreement is the first of its kind in southern China and we hope it will serve as an example for other companies looking to transition to cleaner, more economical sources of power,” added Lens CEO Zhou Qunfei. “We’re pleased to be the first supplier to commit to covering all of our Apple production with renewable energy, and proud to source from local Hunan wind farms to power our facilities in Changsha.”