Apple updated its Environmental Initiatives website and has issued its 2014 Environmental Responsibility Report today. Today’s update fulfills a promise from Earth Day in which Apple said that it would more frequently update consumers on its environmental progress. Apple has always been focused on the environment, but it has pushed its attention to new levels with the hire of former EPA head Lisa Jackson last year.
Today’s report has several updates. First, Apple says that it will now be providing carbon emissions data to the Carbon Disclosure Project at the request of shareholders. Apple says that it has made this data public for the past 6 years, but today’s change is the planned submissions to the aforementioned CDP. Apple also announced that it has re-calculated its 2012 emissions data and has found that its carbon footprint actually shrank (for the first time) 3% between 2012 and 2013:
Second, while focusing on our climate data, we decided to recalculate our 2012 emissions using our newest methodology — the same model we used to calculate our 2013 numbers. The new analysis shows that our carbon footprint actually shrank by 3 percent from 2012 to 2013. This marked the first time we’ve seen a year-over-year decline since we began tracking the numbers in 2009. While we’re excited about this progress, we know our work is far from done.
Apple’s full Environmental Responsibility Report, which was previously called the Facilities Environmental Footprint Report, is available to view in full in PDF format, but here are some notable tidbits courtesy of Apple:
- We’re now powering 145 of our U.S. retail stores and all of our retail stores in Australia with 100 percent renewable energy.
- Thanks to our clean-power investments, our carbon footprint from energy use dropped by 31 percent from fiscal 2011 to fiscal 2013 — even though our overall energy consumption increased by 44 percent during that time.
- The energy efficiency programs we applied to our corporate offices in the Cupertino area over the past three years saved 28.5 million kWh of electricity and 751,000 therms of natural gas.
- The commute alternatives program for our employees provided more than 1 million trips and helped avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking more than 15,000 vehicles off the road.
With all the improvements over the past year, Apple still notes that it has challenges ahead. The company has disclosed that 2013 water usage “rose significantly in 2013” due to construction activities. Apple has been preparing its Apple Campus 2 as well as constructing new offices in Cupertino and Austin, Texas. Apple also says that it is “committed” to addressing the significant carbon emissions produced by its manufacturing partners.