Apples Environmental Progress

Apple iTunesWhere do you start, when it comes to making your company more environmentally friendly?  When your logo is an apple I guess you had better take it seriously, so here is some information on Apple’s environmental progress, hopefully you can apply the concepts to your business.

A history of progress.

For more than 20 years, Apple has been working on ways to minimize the impact our company and our products have on the environment. We developed and formulated our first environmental policy in 1990, and every year since then, we’ve continued to make our products more energy efficient, eliminated many toxic substances, and embraced renewable energy in our facilities. In 2009, we became the first company in our industry to report comprehensive calculations of our total carbon footprint — including environmental reports for every product — giving the public an opportunity to judge our efforts and track our progress in detail.

Apple’s Maiden, North Carolina, data center.

Our new data center in Maiden, North Carolina, demonstrates our commitment to reducing the environmental impact of our facilities through energy-efficient, green building design. The facility has earned the coveted LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. We know of no other data center of comparable size that has achieved this level of LEED certification. Apple’s goal is to run the Maiden facility with high percentage renewable energy mix, and we have major projects under way to achieve this — including building the nation’s largest end user-owned solar array and building the largest nonutility fuel cell installation in the United States.

Energy-efficient design elements of the Maiden facility include:

  • A chilled water storage system to improve chiller efficiency by transferring 10,400 kWh of electricity consumption from peak to off-peak hours each day
  • Use of “free” outside air cooling through a waterside economizer operation during night and cool-weather hours, which, along with water storage, allows the chillers to be turned off more than 75 percent of the time
  • Extreme precision in managing cooling distribution for cold air containment pods with variable-speed fans controlled to exactly match airflow to server requirements from moment to moment
  • Power distributed at higher voltages, which increases efficiency by reducing power loss
  • White cool-roof design to provide maximum solar reflectivity
  • High-efficiency LED lighting combined with motion sensors
  • Real-time power monitoring and analytics during operations
  • Construction processes that utilized 14 percent recycled materials, diverted 93 percent of construction waste from landfills, and sourced 41 percent of purchased materials within 500 miles of the site

Precision controlled systems meet server cooling requirements from moment to moment.

Reducing environmental impact via digital consumption.

Through iTunes, the App Store, and iCloud, Apple has dramatically changed the traditional consumption model of CDs, DVDs, and DVD-ROMs associated with music, movies, and data storage. With the introduction of the iBookstore and Newsstand, Apple has also revolutionized how people purchase and consume books, magazines, and newspapers. We estimate that a reader who uses the iPad for reading has half the environmental impact of a reader who purchases paperback books.*US iTunes, App Store, iBookstore, and Mac App Store

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US iTunes, App Store, iBookstore, and Mac App Store