- Apple and Google have both invested and purchased adequate RECs to pay their dues.
With all the commotion about climate change and the role we have assumed in the contribution of it, it is no wonder that large multinational corporations are taking measures to ease the situation. The leading factor of environmental problems could be traced back to the system that we live by, especially capitalism and militarism. Capitalism and environmental issues can be connected to the overproduction that occurs in a capitalist state.
Many also argue that the environmental issues that resulted in climate change can be traced back to war. For instance, the land in which a war occurred on will no doubt have a negative impact on the environment itself. In addition to that, a study published by the Urban Institute claims that the problems of environmental pollution exist mainly because such commodities do not trade in markets. This again supports the claim that capitalism leads to environmental issues. To sum up the relationship between the aforementioned themes, capitalism is sought after with profit maximization as the key, and militarism is a tool to achieve the key, yet militarism leads to further environmental issues.
Many parties such as the anti-war activists seek to bring a halt to war and subsequently reduce environmental issues. However, any alliances that these groups form will find it challenging to make a difference because there is a missing element in their cause, which is profit and funds, thus making it difficult to take substantial actions. Hence, it is ultimately up to those who hold the majority of the wealth and power to speak up – and Apple has indeed.
On Monday, Apple has announced that as of now, it is completely running on renewable energy sources. Nonetheless, this is not a surprise because 93 percent of the multinational company was already functioning on clean energy as of 2016. Apple has persistently been investing in renewable energy and green energy bonds throughout the years. Of course, Apple Inc. is not the first company to announce such actions. Precisely a week before this announcement, Google has made a similar announcement.
Both of them have one thing in common. They are not, in actuality, “powered by 100 percent renewable energy”, as the Verge phrases. As multinational corporations, they have operations in places all across the world. These places often find it difficult to access clean energy, one of which includes China. Hence, it is simply out of the question for them to run on renewable energy (i.e. wind, solar, etc.).
As such, Apple has invested in the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). In a nutshell, RECs can be seen as the opposite of carbon tax, explained by the Verge. Instead of getting charged a fee for the damage they have caused to the environment, RECs are purchased as a way to pay their dues in advance.
In addition, Apple has also been building facilities that create clean energy all around the world. In this way, any future constructions and buildings will be able to really function on clean energy. The Apple Park campus is a perfect example of that.
Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple Inc. has released a statement.
We’re committed to leaving the world better than we found it. After years of hard work we’re proud to have reached this significant milestone. We’re going to keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the materials in our products, the way we recycle them, our facilities and our work with suppliers to establish new creative and forward-looking sources of renewable energy because we know the future depends on it.”
Cook has openly gone against President Trump when it comes to matters concerning the environment. He believes that the United States should remain in the Paris climate agreement. Back in 2014, he had warned Apple’s investors of the firm’s commitment to environmental sustainability. He had told them to let go of their Apple stock if they were not on board with this decision.
Apple’s commitment to environmental sustainability can be observed through the press release from Monday.
Apple currently has 25 operational renewable energy projects around the world, totaling 626 megawatts of generation capacity, with 286 megawatts of solar PV generation coming online in 2017, its most ever in one year,” reads Apple’s press release from today. “It also has 15 more projects in construction. Once built, over 1.4 gigawatts of clean renewable energy generation will be spread across 11 countries.”
With Apple and Google showing support and commitment towards this cause, perhaps there is a chance for humanity to persist on Earth.
Featured image via flickr/ Jorge Láscar