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Apple Deepens Environmental Push With New Green Fund

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

As President Trump signals withdraw from Paris agreement, Apple pledges $1 billion for renewable engery

Apple has signalled its opposition to the environmental views of President Donald Trump with the launch of a $1 billion (£785m) bond to finance renewable energy and other environmental projects.

The new fund comes as  President Trump signalled his intention to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and increase the usage of coal, a move met with dismay by much of corporate America.

It is the second such green fund from Apple, after the iPad maker first offered a $1.5 billion (£1.2bn) fund in response to the international pact signed in 2015 that aims to curb greenhouse-gas emissions.

data centre, green energy

Green Investment

The Paris agreement was signed by almost 200 countries and Apple has made clear that its green fund is part of its fundamental disagreement with Trump over his environmental views.

“Leadership from the business community is essential to address the threat of climate change and protect our shared planet,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s VP of environment, policy and social initiatives, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Apple was one of many companies in the US that signed an open letter that pledged to continue supporting efforts to meet the Paris agreement. And CEO Tim Cook last week was one of many CEO’s who appealed to the President not to withdraw from the Paris agreement.

The green fund will be used to finance renewable energy, energy efficiency at Apple facilities and in its supply chain and procuring safer materials for its products.

It comes after Apple in April pledged itself to the goal of “one day” making its devices using 100 percent recycled materials, rather than mining for metals and toxic rare materials such as tungsten and cobalt.

Apple has reportedly already allocated $442 million to 16 different projects from its first bond offer last year.

Green Focus

Apple has not always had such a squeaky clean green image. The company has been criticised in the past for sourcing materials from mines that exploit child labour, but is now pledging to shake up its supply chain and look for alternative means of building its iPhones, iPads and MacBooks.

Apple was also once firmly in environmental campaigner Greenpeace’s bad books for its reliance on coal power and its pledge to use 100 percent renewable energy sources in its data centre facilities.

But Apple has worked hard to improve and earlier this year it was among a group of tech companies praised by Greenpeace for its green IT efforts, receiving an ‘A’ grade along with Google and Facebook.

And green IT an area which is becoming more prominent within the industry, highlighted by the creation of a $1 billion (£800bn) investment fund from several high-profile tech executives including Bill Gates, to go towards clean energy technology.

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