Apple products staked their claim in modern culture with the release of the iPhone first generation in 2007. Expanding globally, Apple has set up manufacturing operations in China which assembles hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads for the past eight years. Since Tim Cook replaced the late Steve Jobs as Apple’s CEO four years ago, Apple has made protecting the environment a higher priority.

Apple’s data centers, offices and stores in the United States run solely on renewable energy such as solar, wind and hydroelectric. They are now taking that process overseas to their Chinese manufacturing facilities. Foxconn Corporation currently runs the factories that produce the hundreds of millions of Apple products. Apple plans to install solar panels and utilize all forms of renewable energy (solar, wind and hydroelectric).

With this new switch to renewable energy, Apple hopes to produce 2.2 gigawatts of power. Solar panels plan to be completed in 2018 are estimated to produce as much energy as Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory consumes while manufacturing Apple products.

Solar panels will be constructed in the Northern, Southern and Eastern provinces in China and contain the ability to produce 200 megawatts of energy. Foxconn has pledged to contribute to an additional 400 megawatts of solar energy as a part of the 2.2 gigawatts commitment by Apple.

A move to renewable energy of this magnitude by Apple is estimated to reduce 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses between now and 2020. That is the equivalent to 4 million cars being taken off the road in a single year.

Manufacturing contributes to a large amount of pollution that is produced in China and Apple not only aims to eliminate its carbon footprint but also make China a better place to live. China is Apple’s second largest market behind the United States and it wants to establish conditions that allow for it to grow.

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