Apple to Intel: How tech companies are committing to reducing carbon emissions


As concerns grow over global warming, which is driven by carbon emissions, many major companies have announced plans to reduce emissions. This include tech companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and Intel. All of these tech companies have committed to do their part to help build a solution for this problem by reducing their carbon emissions. Here’s a look at what these companies have announced in order to tackle their contribution to the global carbon emissions.

Apple: 100 per cent carbon-neutral supply chain and products

In 2020, Apple committed to ensuring a 100 per cent carbon neutrality for its supply chains and products. Being a hardware company primarily, its primary focus is on low greenhouse gas product design, manufacturing and distribution. Apple says it has a commitment from over 70 suppliers to use 100 per cent renewable energy for its production, which according to the company is the equivalent of nearly 8 gigawatts in commitment to manufacturing its products.

Once completed, these commitments have the capability to avoid over 13.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, according to the company. The company has also partnered with the US-China Green Fund to invest $100 million in accelerated energy projects for Apple’s suppliers. It also has a renewable energy capacity of over 1GW for its corporate operations.

In March, the company also announced the first implementation of its experimental carbon-free aluminium smelting for the aluminium used in the 2022 iPhone SE. The low-carbon aluminium is also currently being used in the production of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. Apple is also investing in afforestation and other nature-based solutions for the removal of carbon from the atmosphere.

Google: To operate on carbon-free energy by 2030

Google claims that it became carbon neutral in 2007 and that it became the first company to match 100 per cent of its global annual electricity consumption with renewable energy in 2017 by bringing nearly 6GW of new renewable energy online. This means that the company purchases enough renewable energy to match all the electricity it consumes.

Google “matches” its energy consumption because it says that it is not yet fully possible to power a company of its scale with 100 per cent renewable energy. But it has also committed to decarbonising its electricity supply completely and operating on 24/7 carbon-free energy by 2030. According to the company’s 2021 sustainability report, Google Cloud and Google Workspace operate with 0 operational greenhouse gas emissions.

Intel: Net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040

Intel has pledged to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in its global operations by 2040 and to increase energy efficiency and lower the carbon footprint of Intel products and platforms. The company has also set a few interim milestones to be achieved by 2030. By then, the company plans to achieve 100 per cent renewable electricity use across its global operations.

Intel will invest $300 million in energy conservation at its facilities to achieve cumulative energy savings of 4 billion kilowatt-hours. The company will also build new facilities that meet US Green Building Council LEED program standards including in the US, Europe and Asia. It is also engaged with its suppliers to identify areas of improvement, including increasing supplier focus on energy conservation and renewable energy sourcing and increasing chemical and resource efficiencies.

Microsoft: Carbon negative by 2030

Microsoft has committed to being carbon negative by 2030. The company also claims that by 2025, it will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975. It has launched a $1 billion climate innovation fund aimed at accelerating the global development of carbon reduction, capture, and removal technologies. The focus will be on funding investment primarily based on four criteria:

  • Strategies that have the prospect of driving meaningful decarbonisation, climate resilience or other sustainability impacts.
  • Accelerating current and potential solutions to emissions.
  • Projects with relevance to Microsoft by, creating technologies that can be used to address the company’s climate debt and future emissions.
  • Consideration of climate equity, including for developing economies.

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