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Apple Carbon Footprint Rises Despite Green Measures

Apple is more energy efficient than it ever has been, according to a new report.
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/ Source: NBC News

Apple is more energy efficient than it ever has been, according to a new report, with 100 percent of U.S. operations running completely on renewable energy. Still, the company was responsible for 34.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in fiscal 2014 — the vast majority from manufacturing plants in China. That is an increase from the 33.8 million metric tons the company said it was responsible for in 2013. Apple released its "Environmental Responsibility Report" on Monday, which covered the 2014 fiscal year. "We don't want to debate climate change," the report said. "We want to stop it." Last year, 87 percent of its operations worldwide (which include data centers, corporate offices and retail stores) ran completely on renewable energy, according to the report.

Apple Greenhouse Gas Emissions
A breakdown of the sources of Apple's greenhouse gas emissions for the 2014 fiscal year.Apple

The carbon emissions associated with each Apple product — both when it came to manufacturing and daily use — fell 7 percent in 2014 to its lowest level in company history. Apple products today generate 61 percent less greenhouse gases than those sold in 2008. The problem? Apple sold so many products last year that its total manufacturing emissions actually increased by 5 percent.

Overall, manufacturing accounted for 24.8 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, far more than any other source of emissions. "We may not own our suppliers' facilities," Apple said, "but we do own their carbon footprint — 72 percent of our total."



— Keith Wagstaff