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Apple: 75% of Our World Wide Power Needs Now Come From Renewable Power Sources 262

Posted by samzenpus
from the it-keeps-on-going dept.
skade88 writes "Apple now owns and runs enough renewable energy power plants that 75% of their world wide power needs come from renewable sources such as wind, solar, geothermal and hydro. From the Apple Blog Post: 'Our investments are paying off. We've already achieved 100 percent renewable energy at all of our data centers, at our facilities in Austin, Elk Grove, Cork, and Munich, and at our Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino. And for all of Apple's corporate facilities worldwide, we're at 75 percent, and we expect that number to grow as the amount of renewable energy available to us increases. We won't stop working until we achieve 100 percent throughout Apple.'"
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Apple: 75% of Our World Wide Power Needs Now Come From Renewable Power Sources

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 22, 2013 @08:14AM (#43245075)

    We mean human souls... Muahahahaha

    • by hackula (2596247)
      hmm.. how can we spin this one... Apple Computers: Soul Powered
    • by erroneus (253617) on Friday March 22, 2013 @08:53AM (#43245339) Homepage

      I was thinking along similar lines:

      "Is child labor considered renewable energy?"

      I appreciate the energy conscious choices being made. I appreciate the leadership value in it. There are lots of ways they can clean up their image and in my opinion, they aren't addressing the more serious concerns. All they are doing is better ensuring that when people come charging their offices with torches and pitchforks in hand, they will be able to stay in their buildings for a bit longer.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Friday March 22, 2013 @08:55AM (#43245363) Homepage Journal

        "Is child labor considered renewable energy?"

        Clean, safe, and too cheap to meter.

      • by BasilBrush (643681) on Friday March 22, 2013 @09:26AM (#43245643)

        There are lots of ways they can clean up their image and in my opinion, they aren't addressing the more serious concerns.

        Opposing child labour and sweatshops, and being green are pretty serious concerns in my book. All of them certainly far more serious than how much they are in tune with the demands of the OSS community.

        • by Dishevel (1105119) on Friday March 22, 2013 @09:58AM (#43245977)

          You do realize that in the countries where child labor is practiced that the children NEED the work.
          I understand that it means that the country itself is in a bad way and that country needs to serve its people better.
          I also get that the thought of child labor to us is repugnant. What we need to keep in mind though is that if we could immediately stop all child labor tomorrow ...
          Many people would die as a result.

          • Isn't that what "LIVE FREE OR DIE" is about? We keep them as oversea slaves to fullfil our material desires, trampling our own principles of human integrity. A though choice, yes, but possibly one that would pay off in the long term.

          • by BasilBrush (643681) on Friday March 22, 2013 @10:11AM (#43246115)

            You do realize that in the countries where child labor is practiced that the children NEED the work.

            It's a subtle point that Apple is aware of. Whilst of course they can't change the fortunes of a nation, on those occasions when they have found a subcontractor that has broken the rules, and employed underage workers, it's a condition of remaining a subcontractor that they continue to pay the family the wage even though the child is no longer working PLUS finance the child to go to school.

            It's a good move. It's a disincentive for a subcontractor to risk it, as well as making sure that Apple's intervention doesn't make life worse for the kid or his/her family.

          • by ShanghaiBill (739463) * on Friday March 22, 2013 @12:38PM (#43247801)

            You do realize that in the countries where child labor is practiced that the children NEED the work.

            To be clear: The country is China, and the "children" were 14 year old students ordered out of their classroom and taken to a Foxconn factory for an "internship". This was done without the permission of the parents and in violation of Chinese law. A Chinese court ordered the kids to be returned to their school. Factory internships are normal in China, but not for students this young.

            There are certainly countries where children need to work to help feed their families. But China is not one of them. China is a middle income country, and school attendance is mandatory. What happened was illegal and inexcusable.

          • by erroneus (253617)

            That was true, theoretically, in the US as well. But you know what happened? The cost of adult labor went up as they were more scarce. Children, meanwhile had more fun, went to school and advanced intellectually and in potential.

            That's what should happen in these other nations. It's what COULD happen if the right changes were made.

            Worse is that in these child labor countries, parents are thereby encouraged to have more children [to exploit] so they can bring more money into the family. This is the same

        • by Jmc23 (2353706)
          You miss the fact that they both are supposed to have the same ideological underpinnings. Their 'concerns' are just negligible marketing expense to make you feel better about the shiny jails they sell.
          • You miss the fact that they both are supposed to have the same ideological underpinnings.

            They most certainly are not. They are orthogonal belief sets.

            • by Jmc23 (2353706)
              caring about the environment, caring about children, caring about a future world for everyone to enjoy, and caring about a persons freedom, and freedom of knowledge and tools for everyone are all the same thing.

              Nice try with your big words though.

      • by Goaway (82658) on Friday March 22, 2013 @09:35AM (#43245717) Homepage

        "More serious concerns", like your previously addressed child labor?

        News flash: Apple is pretty much the only tech company that is actually addressing that concern. Apple actually investigates their manufacturers and drop them if they use child labor. Other tech companies by and large don't.

    • Really though, what do they mean? I did not see where they define what they consider renewable.
      After all, coal and oil are also renewable, given enough time.

  • by SirGarlon (845873) on Friday March 22, 2013 @08:18AM (#43245105)

    Does that include the Asian suppliers' and subcontractors' plants that actually manufacture all of Apple's products?

    I didn't think so.

    So perhaps Apple should not too their own horn [xkcd.com] very loudly on this.

    • by JayWilmont (1035066) on Friday March 22, 2013 @09:30AM (#43245671)

      Don't blame Apple for the submitter's terrible headline. What Apple actually claims is on their website, and they have a clear breakdown of what they view their footprint to be is here:
      http://www.apple.com/environment/our-footprint/ [apple.com]

      (Broken down b/c nobody actually RTFA)
      61% Manufacturing
      5% Transportation
      30% Product Use
      2% Recycling
      2% Facilities

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by SirGarlon (845873)

        (Broken down b/c nobody actually RTFA)

        Actually, that breakdown is not in TFA, and is not linked from the summary. So while the article you cite is certainly relevant to the discussion and sheds a lot of light, I don't think it's fair for you to bitch about people not reading TFA when the key point you make didn't come from it, either.

    • Oh, c'mon, now, who doesn't want to see Apple embroiled in a greener than thou [youtube.com] battle with the absolutists?

      Note to manufacturers: if you do anything responsible, we will publicly castigate you for not doing more (probably until you just give up on doing anything at all).

    • by bryan1945 (301828)

      Don't stop there. Make sure that all the ore extractors use all renewable energy. And all transportation vehicles that move product are green, too. And the consumer who use their products must sign a contract that they can only use Apple products power with renewable energy. Also, the internet must be all renewable so the iTunes store doesn't use fossil fuels for power. Any publication that talks about Apple must be green, or they cannot write about Apple. You are not allowed to read about Apple unles

  • So... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Green Apple then?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 22, 2013 @08:22AM (#43245137)

    Oil IS renewable, but takes a long time. Solar power is not renewable. Once the sun has spent its fuel there can be no more.

    • Re:Point of fact (Score:5, Informative)

      by imikem (767509) on Friday March 22, 2013 @08:37AM (#43245231) Homepage

      Hopefully you're trying to be funny, and failing. All energy in this solar system except the, relatively speaking, small amounts that derive from sources such as nuclear fission of heavy elements in planetary cores, comes from the sun. If one decides that solar energy is not "renewable" based on the stellar lifetime, then fossil fuel cannot be regarded as "renewable" either, as it is stored solar energy.

      • by gmclapp (2834681)
        In all fairness it is not more correct to say that oil is stored solar energy than it is to say the energy from the sun or other stars is a product of stored chemical or nuclear energy. It would be more correct to say that there is a set amount of energy and matter in this universe and that it is in constant transition in an attempt to reach a "more stable" state.
      • by jeffmeden (135043)

        While it is all pretty trivial considering the timescale, Oil (from plant sources) only ceases to be renewable AFTER the sun has died. So conceptually (as long as we don't kill off all plant life on the planet first) there will be oil longer than there will be things which are directly solar powered. Of course, one other likely scenario is that we find a way to make more efficient use of newly created bio-material and therefore use it all up at or near the same time as the sun goes cold, so it wont have a

      • If we're going to talk at that level, can we not just say that all energy is renewable then? I mean it's never lost. It just changes states.

      • by steelfood (895457)

        Tidal is not in any way linked to the sun. Not that tidal works particularly well...

        Nor is geothermal. But again, that's not a major source of renewable energy.

  • The title could be read to say that Apple is claiming 75% of all power comes from renewable sources. Why not use the shorter title of

    75% of Apple's Power Comes From Renewable Sources

    Instead? Or even

    Apple Says 75% Of Their Power Comes From Renewable Sources

    which would also be more clear.

    • It also says "needs." But the needs don't come from energy sources - the needs come from all the servers, etc, they're running. -1 Pedantic.
  • by BillCable (1464383) on Friday March 22, 2013 @08:25AM (#43245163)
    That's why Apple products are so expensive!

    PS: I wonder how renewable the energy burned to drive the truck that deliver products to their retail stores is.
    • The same amount it took to deliver Dell's products to retail stores, I suppose. But we are only going to criticize Apple for things that are out of their control. Unless Dell is using some sort of green energy shipper that I am not aware.
  • "When did Apple become Communist?"

  • by drdrgivemethenews (1525877) on Friday March 22, 2013 @08:38AM (#43245239)

    Renewable power bought from a utility company is a zero-sum game--only one party gets to use it, and everyone else gets stuck with whatever's left. So until they are actually generating all that power themselves, the claim is just chest thumping. No real benefit to the environment.

    • Is it your argument, that regardless of the number of electricity users who demand renewable sources, there is a finite amount to be delivered? Does consumer demand not factor into this equation at all?
    • It's not like the electricity company hooks you directly up to your own wind turbine anyway. I mean, presumably they can account it for it all and show that yes, 25% of our watts are paid for by customers who've been sold their power as "green" and yes, we've generated 25% of our watts in that way, but that's probably about it, isn't it?
  • And for all of Apple's corporate facilities worldwide, we're at 75 percent

    So their office buildings? What about the factories where all their products are made? You know... where probobly 99.9% of the power they use is consumed?

    My fireplace is now powered by 100% renewable resources! I challenge the rest of the world to meet my same goals!

    • I suppose Dell has the same problem except Dell's offices are not powered by green energy. But it's not Dell's fault that they haven't bothered to change something within their control. Instead, let's criticize Apple for doing what they can.
      • by Jmc23 (2353706)
        Maybe Dell's marketing budget isn't as large?
        • No I can assure you that Dell is nowhere near being green for their corporate HQ. Dell uses the city grid like everyone else. They could be if they wanted; they simply haven't done so. They could use Bloom boxes like Google did with their HQ. But let's fault Apple for taking steps Dell hasn't done.
          • by Jmc23 (2353706)
            Aptly nicked you are.

            Dell isn't concerned with selling shinies to unknowing fools.

            • Dell proudly shows off these solar panels at their HQ. There are only a handful of them and they are very small compared the size of the HQ. Dell could never boast they are green. Of course it's easier to insult someone else than have facts.
    • And for all of Apple's corporate facilities worldwide, we're at 75 percent

      So their office buildings? What about the factories where all their products are made? You know... where probobly 99.9% of the power they use is consumed?

      My fireplace is now powered by 100% renewable resources! I challenge the rest of the world to meet my same goals!

      If you care to actually read up http://www.apple.com/environment/our-footprint/ [apple.com]

  • Why so much Apple hate here? Yes, they have shitloads of cash. Yes, they make the most of a capitalist system. I couldn't care less if Apple went bankrupt tomorrow. I'm just asking, WHY SO MUCH HATRED? This company actually invests in renewable energy - how many other fortune 200 companies are doing this? It seems like this is just more of the same old attitude - "It's a money making entity! Kill it!"
    • by Jmc23 (2353706)
      I'm guessing it's a question of whether the side effects justify the cause. WHY is apple investing in green energy? Is it just so they can put out marketing spin like this to make themselves look good? Someone who does something for the right reasons doesn't need to go around tooting their own horn, nor would they spin it.

      Also consider whether this supposedly 'good' behaviour is consistent with their other behaviours of stripping freedom, price gouging, stealing, patent trolling, etc...

      You know sometime

      • Re:So much hatred (Score:4, Interesting)

        by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday March 22, 2013 @10:47AM (#43246513)

        Someone who does something for the right reasons doesn't need to go around tooting their own horn, nor would they spin it.

        Why wouldn't you if you thought you could also get other companies to follow suit? Then it has a real benefit beyond horn-tooting.

        Also consider whether this supposedly 'good' behavior

        Only an Apple Hater could label the desire to have cleaner sources of energy as "supposedly" good.

        The simple truth is that for people like you it is not possible for Apple to do anything good at all, you will argue that anything they are doing is bad no matter how painfully obvious it is that you are wrong.

        I'll let you have the last response as I don't care to see what kind of shovel you use to dig your hole deeper, nor what brand of shoe you choose to stuff in your mouth next.

    • Re:So much hatred (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 22, 2013 @10:10AM (#43246113)

      Slashdotters have been infected for about 6 years now with some weird vocal Google lifestyle. As soon as the iPhone came out, Apple was put up on high like the underdog had finally won. Slashdotters rejoiced that Apple was finally ahead of Microsoft in a big way. David had beat Goliath.
      A year later when the first Android phone came out, it caused a great schism.
      I think it's really sad that people from both sides of the issue couldn't be more objective.
      But ultimately, I think that this has been a clash of culture that until now has been reasonably aligned...

      Open source is Freedom of software, not necessarily free software. This has been beat into the first generation of Slashdotters. However, Google has come in and consistently pushed their own solutions to be "Free with an asterix" Google dependency. Many people find google's commitment to free software noble, but they are slowly tying themselves to Google's interests. There is a great distinction between GNU and Google for instance on the way software is produced.
      People who find themselves immersed in google's technologies start to have their own self protection response when Google's interests are challenged.
      "How can Google be bad? They give me so much. I can't imagine doing my daily work without Google."

      This is NOT the same as the traditional Open source culture. Open source culture teaches you to be self reliant, independent and if you don't like the way code behaves change it. Giveback to society, but don't wait for society to fix your problems. Does google give you the ability to do this for ANY of their products and services?

      Enter Apple. Apple is a for profit commercial company. You pay up front for what you want. You vote with your dollars. There's no sleaze, no slime. The restrictions are clear, the capabilities are clear. If you don't like it, don't buy it. Yet they are also an open source contributor and have long been one of the center points for FreeBSD development. ( Consider the irony that Apple's Webkit is now the basis for almost all web browsers )
      They are NOT the doting father... they are not the place to go to for freeloading. They are quite clear of what they do and don't do. If you want something, look around a vendor may have a solution that fits what you want, or write your own software and give back to the community.
      Not the same model as open source, but I argue, a compatible one that is in the best interest of consumer freedom.

      The Google crowd doesn't like this. They'd rather wait for what "entitled" freebie they should get, and they get annoyed that Apple never gives it to them.
      So when Android came out, and Apple "disagreed" with how it was designed ( I say this simply to try and avoid a rant of who is right and wrong here... go with me on this) , suddenly Apple is the ultimate bad guy. To the Google crowd, Apple is threatening to take away your lifestyle. Only it's not your lifestyle. It's not what Slashdot was founded on. It's GOOGLE's Life style.

  • New tags (Score:2, Interesting)

    by arielCo (995647)

    It's already clear that they conveniently left out all manufacturing/storage facilities, as if subcontracting made them not responsible. And of course, they don't use conflict minerals, their workers work 8-hour shifts in comfy offices ... you get the idea.

    Now I need a new tag for this PR BS.
    "bs"?
    "prspin"?
    "corporatebull"?

    • Re:New tags (Score:5, Insightful)

      by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday March 22, 2013 @09:42AM (#43245795)

      It's already clear that they conveniently left out all manufacturing/storage facilities, as if subcontracting made them not responsible. And of course, they don't use conflict minerals, their workers work 8-hour shifts in comfy offices ... you get the idea.

      They left it out because those places are beyond their control. I suppose Apple could go to another contract manufacturer, maybe one that Dell or HP uses. Oh wait, it's the same one. There are not a lot of choices when it comes to this kind of manufacturing. Finding one that is green is not likely.

      Suppose you want to go green. You can do all you can use renewable energy at your home. What about your work place? Is your company green? What about the facilities they rent? What about they supermarket you use, the dry cleaners, etc? Do you have kids and is their school green? Is your car/bus/subway green? Unless you own 100% of every aspect of your life that uses energy, you have to accept that some places will use fossil fuels as energy.

      Apple is converting the facilities that they control as much as they can. You can criticize them for things out of their control or you can applaud them for doing what they can.

      • by arielCo (995647)

        I have little or no influence on my employer's, my local supermarket's or their landlords' decisions on energy consumption. But Apple has enough clout on their suppliers to have them build dedicated plants [cnet.com]. Apple can surely push Foxconn for (realistic) green energy policies, and hopefully did so.

        Of course office buildings are easier to make green/carbon-neutral than manufacturing plants (in an industrial park you use whatever source of power is available), and that's the gist of the half-truth: When they sa

  • by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Friday March 22, 2013 @10:00AM (#43245993)

    Much like the term 'All-Natural', Renewable doesn't mean much.

    The term causes the mind to think of things like 'Solar, Wind, Water, Geothermal', but the reality is that Renewable also means: "BioDiesel, Wood, Ethanol, Methane"

    My point is, that there are many polluting, but renewable sources. I don't mean to imply that making sure our energy supply is sustainable is a bad thing, not at all, but just a reminder to keep an eye out for the marketing angle companies use when they use the term 'Renewable'.

    People hear 'clean, green, healthy, responsible' when a company says they are renewable, but the honest truth is that a company could be powered by 100% Renewable Sources by burning pine trees in a 100 year old 30% efficiency furnace.

    A previous company of mine recently converted their entire energy supply to renewable sources, generation was performed on site. The source was sawdust from the local saw mills. (However, it was actually a good move, because their system was actually a new high efficiency process they wanted to showcase, and by purchasing from the local sawmills, they helped support the community in a very direct fashion)

  • Waste Energy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Massacrifice (249974) on Friday March 22, 2013 @10:18AM (#43246197)

    One should also take into account the useful life of the products they manufacture, with sealed-in batteries and throw-away design, along with their own marketing effort to out-fashion their own devices after only two years.

    Using terajoules of the cleanest energy to produce stuff that will end up in the trash faster than you can say "planned obsolescence" is still waste.

    I'll applaud when they reverse the flow and encourage people to keep their computers longer through cheap support plans and openness.

    • by JBMcB (73720)

      My second-to-last Apple product was a 3rd gen iPod that ran non-stop for 8 years.

      I replaced it with a Sansa Fuse that lasted a year and a half before the entire front panel stopped working.

      My current Apple product is a used iPhone 3GS built in 2011 that's showing no signs of quitting.

      I have two Macs at home, a G4 and one a beige G3 that are both running fine after replacing a couple of cooling fans.

      I have a friend who set up an iMac G3 for his dad to browse the web. He just replaced it last fall because it

  • I knew when I saw the title of this, Apple was going to get flamed here by slashdotters no matter what. I was not let down. It's hard for me to understand why good news is turned into bad news on this site so often based solely on a brand name. Is it not respectable that a company with a huge global presence would be striving to be more efficient with the energy they use, and succeeding? Would there be this much flaming going on if it were Google, or IBM, or Samsung?

    I do work for many IBM data-centers a

  • Many are in malls, connected to the regular grid.

  • by AlejoHausner (1047558) on Friday March 22, 2013 @12:31PM (#43247711) Homepage
    Sadly, there are lots of reasons why renewable sources won't solve our energy needs. Tom Murphy, a physics prof at UCSD, has a great blog http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2012/02/the-alternative-energy-matrix/ [ucsd.edu] where he works out the details. This was covered a while ago here: http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/11/08/02/2315207/limits-on-growth-of-energy-use-and-economies [slashdot.org]

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