Apple is not a new company, but they’ve been getting some new attention lately.
It’s not about a product line or Steve Jobs’s legacy or anything shiny like that. In fact, Apple (and other tech companies) are catching heat for their impact on the environment. It takes immense amounts of energy to manufacture their products and power their network.
But Apple isn’t taking being called out lightly. The company is working to improve its carbon footprint.
What’s Apple doing?
If you head out to Reno, Nevada, you’ll see the construction of a huge solar farm that Apple is building in order to operate more sustainably. Solar farms harness the energy of the sun and convert it to electricity instead of sourcing electricity from fossil fuels. The goal with this particular plant is to be able to use solar energy to power all of the company’s data centers.
The farm in Reno will create 43.5 million kilowatt hours of clean energy per year, which is the equivalent of taking 6400 cars off of the road. That amount is evidently more than the data center in Reno will need, meaning that Apple’s clean energy will go out onto the local grid for use by the citizens.
Not just Reno
Beyond that, Apple is building solar farms all over the world. There’s one in Maiden, North Carolina, and a site in California that’s run on renewable energy as well. Austin, Texas has a sustainable energy plant, as does Cork, Ireland. (That one runs on wind power.)
Apple is not just paying lip service to being more environmentally-friendly, nor is it only “going green” because it’s trending right now and they want to turn a profit.
These plants aren’t just about energy, either. They create jobs that support the local economy. The economy is on an upswing, but creating jobs is still a critical item on many people’s minds. Apple is working with NV Energy to get the solar farm in Nevada up and running, and even has permits for a second round of expansions.
Apple doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Like many other companies, Apple has to work with local, state, and federal government in order to build these facilities. One of the perks is the ability to create a surplus. Apple can send any surplus energy out to government agencies or other organizations that want to work with the large corporations, and everyone wins.