Inside Apple’s Net Zero Pledge

02/02/2015 |

How the tech giant is closing in on its energy goals

Apple’s ambitious energy goals and progress toward reducing its environmental impact earned it a Partner of the Year award from the EPA. The company supplies its data centers with 100% renewable energy and generates power near its biggest sources of energy demand. PHOTOS COURTESY OF Andrey Bayda /

Apple’s commitment to innovation doesn’t stop at consumer technology, the EPA will attest.

The agency recently named Apple one of four Partners of the Year as part of its Green Power Leadership Awards, in which the EPA honors companies that have demonstrated significant commitments to reducing their environmental impact. Apple claimed the honor for its progress toward a three-pronged goal to displace dirtier forms of energy, ensure that whatever energy it procures is additional to what would have otherwise occurred, and demonstrating accountability for the company’s green power consumption.

To that end, Apple supplies its data centers with 100% renewable energy, and all U.S. corporate facilities are 100% renewable-fueled thanks to a combination of generation and purchasing. The company’s renewable strategy focuses on creating new Apple-owned generation projects near its biggest centers of energy demand, including two 20 MW solar arrays and a 10 MW fuel cell installation supplied by directed biogas. These three projects alone offer an annual capacity of 167 million kWh.

To supplement this, Apple pairs its on-site generation with renewable energy certificates (RECs) generated in the same region or state as the facility they support.

Google, Oklahoma State University, and the global medical technology company BD were also named Partners of the Year in 2014, and another 15 organizations were honored for green power purchasing and on-site generation initiatives. Together, the honorees use more than 7.6 billion kWh of green power every year.

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