Apple to power its Japanese operations with floating solar systems

Component supplier Ibiden is the first company in Japan to commit to powering 100 per cent of its Apple manufacturing with renewable energy. 

On Wednesday 8 March, Apple announced that Ibiden will invest in more than 20 new renewable energy facilities, including one of the largest floating solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in the country.

Apple has long been committed to using renewable energy for its own operations, and in 2015 extended that goal to its suppliers, starting with China.

According to its 2016 supplier responsibility report, the company’s energy efficiency programme reduced carbon emissions by more than 13,800 metric tonnes.

Ibiden’s innovative floating PV system is designed to maximise land use in Japan by utilising a converted lumber yard.

Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president for Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, said: “We’re proud to partner with suppliers like Ibiden who recognize that renewable energy investments are good for the environment and good for business.”

She went on to say: “As we continue our push to power our global operations with 100 percent renewable energy, it is more important than ever that we help our manufacturing partners make the same transition to cleaner sources, and set an example for other companies to follow.”

The newly announced renewable energy projects will generate over 12 megawatts (MW) of solar power – more energy than is required to power its Apple manufacturing needs.

Furthermore, the projects support Japan’s nationwide mission to reduce carbon emissions.

Kyoichi Yamanaka, Managing Director of Ibiden’s Environment Group, reiterated Jackson’s comments, saying: “These innovative new clean energy investments demonstrate our commitment to doing business responsibly and economically. Our products help Apple devices run smarter, and now we’re powering our operations with smarter energy too. We’re pleased to partner with Apple and lead the way in helping Japan meet its clean energy goals.”

Apple is now on track to be generating more than 2.5 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of clean energy for the manufacturing of its products each year by the end of 2018 – the equivalent of removing over 400,000 cars off the road.

At present, Apple is powering 100 per cent of its operations in 23 countries with renewables, and over 93 per cent of its worldwide operations with solar and wind energy.

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