Video: Tim Cook talks going green as Apple updates us on environmental initiatives

Apple Better video (screenshot 001)

Tomorrow is Earth Day and Apple is getting ready to celebrate the occasion in ways more than one. We previously learned the firm will change the logo color of its retail stores to green in a move reminiscent of how it celebrated the World AIDS day.

Next, Apple’s Vice President of Environmental Initiatives Lisa Jackson (she oversees the company’s environmental policies) recently took select members of the press on a rare tour of Apple’s upcoming data center and solar array facility in the Nevada desert.

And today, Apple has shared latest data on its environmental efforts on its newly revamped Environmental Responsibility website and posted a corporate video with Tim Cook discussing Apple’s environmental strides…

Here’s the video, titled ‘Better’, narrated by Tim Cook himself.

From the video’s description on YouTube:

At Apple, we strive to reduce our impact on climate change, find ways to use greener materials and conserve resources for future generations. This video was shot on location at Apple Facilities. Now more than ever, we will work to leave the world better than we found it.

Apple sure likes to talk about what’s in its DNA lately, doesn’t it?

According to Apple’s Lisa Jackson, the iPhone maker is indeed getting closer to its self-imposed goal of powering all of its facilities on 100 percent renewable energy. For instance, Apple’s data centers and corporate campuses have gone from using just 35 percent of renewable energy in 2010 to 75 percent in March 2014 to 94 percent.

Already about 120 of the more than 400 Apple Stores use renewable energy, too, including the iconic Fifth Avenue store and the new Palo Alto outlet. Ultimately, Apple is looking to power all company-owned stores with clean energy.

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According to latest data posted on Apple’s revamped Environmental Responsibility website, Apple contributed to preserving the environment by designing the Mac Pro to use 74 percent less aluminum and steel than its predecessor and said the upcoming iSpaceship campus will be “a model of energy efficiency and green building design”.

The following excerpt is key:

Apple powers all its data centers, including a new facility in Reno, Nevada, with 100 percent renewable energy and reaches 94 percent renewable energy usage across its corporate campuses and data centers.

In 2013, the firm launched the Clean Water Program pilot to increase water reuse and recycling at 13 water‑intensive supplier sites, completed the rollout of PVC‑free cables in China across all products and launched the Supplier Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) Academy to “expand the pool of qualified EHS managers in our supply chain.”

Finally, Lisa Jackson has issued a letter discussing how Apple strives to make products in environmentally friendly ways.

Here’s the full copy of the letter posted on Apple’s website:

A letter from Lisa Jackson

At Apple, we believe innovation is about making things better. This simple idea drives us to take action in the face of the very real problem of climate change. We feel the responsibility to consider everything we do in order to reduce our impact on the environment. This means using greener materials and constantly inventing new ways to conserve precious resources.

We aim to create not just the best products in the world, but the best products for the world. We have a long way to go, but we are proud of our progress. For example, every one of our data centers is powered entirely by clean sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal energy. So whenever you download a song, update an app, or ask Siri a question, the energy Apple uses is provided by nature.

Of course, the cleanest energy is the energy you never use. That’s why we’ve reduced the average total power consumed by Apple products by 57 percent since 2008. And each one of our products far exceeds the strict energy efficiency guidelines set by ENERGY STAR.

We’ve led the industry in removing many harmful toxins from our products, such as PVC, brominated flame retardants, and phthalates. And we’ve recycled more than 421 million pounds of electronic waste. In fact, every Apple Retail Store will now take back Apple products for free and recycle them responsibly. We believe we must be accountable for every Apple product at every stage of its use.

“Better” means we’re never done. We push ourselves every day to develop innovations that reduce our carbon footprint, use cleaner and safer materials, and show that what’s good for the planet can also be good for business. At Apple, we continue to put nature at the center of our business and design principles. We promise to keep you updated on our journey.

Lisa Jackson
Vice President of Environmental Initiatives

Detailed environmental reports for every product Apple makes are available here.

You may also want to check out a Q&A section on Apple and the environment.