Apple says three more suppliers to use solely renewable power

Another three Apple Inc. suppliers committed to using solely renewable energy to manufacture components for the iPhone maker.

Compal Electronics Inc., Sunwoda Electronic Co. and Biel Crystal Manufactory Ltd. have made the pledge, bringing the total number of Apple suppliers seeking to use just renewable power to seven, executive Lisa Jackson said in an interview. Apple itself now gets 96 percent of its energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar, according to Jackson, Apple’s vice president in charge of sustainability and government affairs.

“We look at our carbon footprint as so much more than just our office, our data centers, our stores, even our distribution centers,” Jackson told Bloomberg Television. “All that’s included in our 96 percent, but now we’re moving onto our supply chain.”

Apple is sticking by climate pledges made under former President Barack Obama even as President Donald Trump relaxes and rescinds some environmental rules and orders. Jackson served as head of the Environmental Protection Agency in Obama’s first presidential term.

“One thing this administration has made clear is that they want to hear from business and so we’re going to do everything we can to make our values known,” Jackson said.

Apple aims to use only renewable energy to power its facilities, and already does so in 24 countries including the U.S., Jackson also said. Apple and its suppliers expect to generate over 2.5 billion kilowatt hours per year of clean energy by the end of 2018, the company said in March. It’s building solar panels into the roof of its new headquarters and aims to sell excess energy in the market.

Technology companies are among the biggest buyers of clean power, led by Google parent Alphabet Inc. Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp. joined forces with more than 60 companies and a series of environmental groups last year to develop 60 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2025, enough to replace all the coal-fired power plants the U.S. is expected to retire by 2020. Corporations agreed to buy nearly 3.7 gigawatts of power generated by clean-energy projects in 2015, and another 2.5 gigawatts last year, almost all from wind and solar, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Companies using renewable energy tend to sign deals with a fixed rate over 20 or 30 years, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst Kyle Harrison.

“It gives them stability into what they’re paying for their energy prices but it also gives them the potential to save money in the longer term,” Harrison said.

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