44 Apple suppliers pledge to use clean energy

Apple today announced 44 of its suppliers have committed to using 100 percent renewable energy in their production of its gadgets as the Cupertino giant spent $2.5 billion in green bonds on environmental initiatives, the largest amount of any US corporation.

Apple in 2018 spent $60 billion with American component suppliers

Coinciding with today's report in The New York Times detailing why Apple won’t be bringing manufacturing jobs back home, the Cupertino technology giant has now issued a press release focused on US suppliers Finisar, Corning and Broadcom which are building parts for its products at domestic manufacturing plants.

The gist of the report: the iPhone maker in 2018 alone spent a whopping $90 billion with 9,000 America component suppliers and companies such as Finisar, Corning and Broadcom.

The figure translates into an increase of more than ten percent from the year before, supporting more than 450,000 jobs, according to the press release.

Finisar, which supplies laser components for the TrueDepth camera, was awarded $390 million from Apple’s $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund last year to expand production. The supplier used that money to turn an unoccupied building in Sherman, Texas into a "bustling operation" full of people who will supply that future business.

Finisar's technician handles a VCSEL wafer during production.

The facility will eventually employ up to 500 engineers who will be mass-producing vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) for modern iPhones.

VCSEL wafers are nearly as thin as a human hair and contain hundreds of layers measuring only a few atoms in thickness. They require a highly advanced and precise manufacturing operation, as well as skilled technicians with specialized training.

Corning's 65-year-old facility in Harrodsburg, Kentucky produces iPhone cover glass. It received a $200 million investment from Apple for state-of-the-art glass processing.

Army veteran Michael Turner, 40, Michael Turner gets ready to enter the production floor at the Sherman plant.

Apple works with many other US suppliers, like Cincinnati Test Systems and Broadcom.

Cincinnati Test Systems in Ohio designed a first-of-its-kind equipment to ensure iPhone is water resistant. And Broadcom in Fort Collins, Colorado, Qorvo in Hillsboro, Oregon and Skyworks in Woburn, Massachusetts, are all making wireless communication hardware that enables global connectivity.

Since 2011, the total number of jobs created and supported by Apple in the US has more than tripled, from almost 600,000 to 2 million across all 50 states.