Ενώ η τεχνολογική πρόοδος και το περιβάλλον συχνά φαίνεται να μη συμβαδίζουν, πολλές εταιρείες τεχνολογίας εργάζονται σκληρά προκειμένου να ελαττώσουν το αντίκτυπο των επιχειρήσεών τους προς τον πλανήτη. Τα τελευταία χρόνια, η Apple κυκλοφορεί μια ετήσια έκθεση προόδου της εταιρείας, σε σχέση με το περιβάλλον.
Το πιο σημαντικό τμήμα της περιβαλλοντικής πολιτικής που ακολουθεί η Apple Αφορά στην τροφοδοσία των κέντρων της εταιρείας από ανανεώσιμες πηγές ενέργειας και πιο συγκεκριμένα της ηλιακής, αιολικής, υδροηλεκτρικής και γεωθερμικής. Οι τρεις μεγαλύτερες εγκαταστάσεις που διατηρεί η Apple είναι αυτή του Prineville στο Όρεγκον, του Newark στην Καλιφόρνια και Maiden στη Βόρεια Καρολίνα η οποία πέρυσι σημείωσε παραγωγή 42 εκατομμυρίων kWh πράσινης ενέργειας, εκμεταλλευόμενη την ηλιακή ενέργεια kWh ενώ, μια τέταρτη εγκατάσταση έχει προγραμματιστεί για το Reno στη Νεβάδα.
Περισσότερες λεπτομέρειες μπορείτε να διαβάσετε στο παρακάτω άρθρο:
Overall, 75 percent of the energy used by the company’s corporate facilities around the world is now renewable—up from a mere 35 percent in 2010. Part of those improvements are the result of Apple reducing its energy use by 30 percent, even as the occupancy of its facilities have increased by more than 12 percent. The company’s goal is to achieve a “net zero” efficiency, using entirely renewable energy and generating zero emissions.
Currently, several of the company’s corporate facilities are entirely powered by renewable energy, including its locations in Austin, Texas; Elk Grove, California; Cork, Ireland; Munich Germany; and its corporate headquarters in Cupertino. The company also says that most of its facilities in Australia are also 100 percent renewable-energy-powered as well.
That energy is acquired via a variety of methods, including the company generating its own where feasible. In many cases, power is purchased through the local grid; in other locations, where that isn’t an option, the company instead buys Renewable Energy Credits. Apple also says that it’s very thorough about the partners it works with; it “hand-picks” the facilities from which it gets its power, and tends to work with newer projects that provide a better return.
Apple estimates that in 2012 it was responsible for 30.9 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Only 2 percent, according to Apple, was directly produced by its facilities, while 98 percent of the emissions are the result of manufacturing, transportation, use, and recycling of the company’s products.
It’s worth noting that Apple’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2012 were actually up slightly over 2011. The company says, though, that its greenhouse gas emissions per dollar of revenue have decreased by 21.5 percent since 2008, suggesting that even as Apple produces more goods, it’s still managing to mostly lower its emissions.
In terms of the manufacture of its goods, which accounts for 61 percent of Apple’s emissions, the company points out that it’s lowered carbon emissions for many of its products, ranging from the Apple TV—which generates just 10 percent of the emissions that its first incarnation did—to the current 15-inch MacBook Pro—which has been reduced by a somewhat smaller 6 percent margin over its 2006 counterpart. And, of course, the company touted its long-standing removal of toxic chemicals like PVC, BFRs, mercury, and arsenic from the vast majority of its products.
Apple’s products are also themselves more energy efficient, with the Mac mini and Apple TV being particular standouts. Apple says its smallest desktop Mac uses less power than a 13-watt CFL lightbulb, while its set-top box consumes only 2W while streaming HD content—10 times less power than the original model. Overall, Apple claims have reduced by 40 percent the power consumed by its products over the years since 2008; that’s resulted in 43 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions by its products’ use over the same time period.
Emissions generated by transportation have also been lowered, thanks to smaller packaging that allows for more products to be transported in the same amount of space. And recycling has been improved, with the company exceeding its goal of a 70 percent recycling rate (that figure is calculated as a percentage of weight of the products that the company sold seven years earlier).
In addition to the aforementioned news about renewable energy, Apple’s also helped reduce its carbon footprint by encouraging its employees to commute via more environmentally friendly means. The company provides biodiesel buses which are used by around 1600 of its employees every day, while Apple’s shared bike program saw more than 50,000 trips last year. Overall, more than 13,000 of the company’s employees took advantage of its more environmentally friendly commuting methods, an increase of 30 percent over 2011.
Η Apple είναι φιλική προς το περιβάλλον!