Brand CasesApple Supplier Energy Efficiency Program: Manufacturing a Smaller Footprint

Publication Date:2017-08-28

In 2015, Apple started engaging directly with suppliers to find ways to reduce their energy use. Apple aims to promote continual improvement, build technical capabilities, and increase awareness of the environmental and financial benefits of energy efficiency.

Apple’s energy efficiency program includes the following: 

Conducting energy audits: Evaluating the status of energy status at supplier facilities, identifying opportunities for energy efficiency improvement, and proposing energy efficiency improvement plans.

Implementing energy training: Conducting training about energy management for suppliers.  Trainees from these supplier sites apply their skills and identify and implement additional energy efficiency projects.

Supervising energy efficiency projects: Tracking and guiding suppliers on energy efficiency improvement projects.

In 2016, the energy efficiency improvements made by suppliers prevented the discharge of more than 150,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e).  The emissions reduction results at China assembling suppliers are illustrated below:

By participating in Apple’s Supplier Energy Efficiency Program, one supplier for iPhone assembling identified multiple ways to reduce energy use, including by replacing outdated and/or inefficient heating, cooling, and lighting systems; repairing compressed air leaks; and recovering waste heat. After the project was implemented in 2016, the supplier reduced its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by more than 10,000 tons.

Apple’s efforts go beyond energy efficiency to spur the development and procurement of renewable energy within the global supply chain. Apple and suppliers will generate and procure more than four gigawatts of new clean power worldwide by 2020, including 2 gigawatts in China alone, and use it to reduce emissions associated with manufacturing.

Up through 2016, Apple has installed 485 megawatts (MW) of wind and solar projects across six provinces of China to address upstream emissions that are beyond the influence of Apple’s direct suppliers. In the province of Inner Mongolia alone, 170MW of solar energy projects have already been constructed, equating to 230,000 families’ annual electricity consumption. By grid-connected power generation, these clean energy sources deliver power to Apple's supply chain in China, replacing traditional thermal power.

Many of Apple’s suppliers in China have made commitments to 100 percent clean energy for Apple production by 2018. One of the participants is Sunwoda. Sunwoda built a 50 MW solar farm in central Henan Province, China, of which a portion will supply power to Apple manufacturing. This will lead to a reduction of more than 60,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year.

(The above content was provided to IPE by the brand, who is responsible for the accuracy of the data.)