Apple has committed itself to using only clean renewable energy to operate all of its stores, data centers, and manufacturing facilities worldwide. That pledge applies to its suppliers as well. On March 8, Apple announced that Ibiden — a Japanese company that “helps bring together the integrated circuitry and chip packages in Apple devices” — has become the first company in Japan to pledge that it will soon “power all of its Apple manufacturing with 100 percent renewable energy.” To realize that goal, Ibiden has created one of the largest floating solar farms in Japan.
The floating solar island is built on land that was previously a lumberyard. Open land is scarce in Japan, so finding space for a solar farm that doesn’t detract from the country’s limited supply of open land is important. Similar considerations have prompted solar developers in other countries to use floating solar farms, especially in India. Apple considers Ibiden’s proposal to build 20 solar power installations in Japan a “significant step forward in Apple’s efforts to help its manufacturing partners transition to clean power.” In total, Apple expects to be generating more than 2.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually to power its global operations by the end of 2018.
“We’re proud to partner with suppliers like Ibiden who recognize that renewable energy investments are good for the environment and good for business,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president for Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. “As we continue our push to power our global operations with 100 percent renewable energy, it is more important than ever that we help our manufacturing partners make the same transition to cleaner sources, and set an example for other companies to follow.”
Ibiden’s managing director of its environment group, Kyoichi Yamanaka, agrees. “These innovative new clean energy investments demonstrate our commitment to doing business responsibly and economically. Our products help Apple devices run smarter, and now we’re powering our operations with smarter energy too. We’re pleased to partner with Apple and lead the way in helping Japan meet its clean energy goals.”