Canadian Manufacturing

Apple makes progress cleaning up supply chain as supplier turns to renewables

iPhone maker says China's Lens Technology will power all Apple manufacturing with locally-sourced wind power by end of 2018


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PHOTO: Apple

Lens Technology is a major Apple supplier, making glass screens for iPhones. PHOTO: Apple

BEIJING—Apple Inc. is slowly cleaning and greening its far-reaching supply chain as it works to pare down on both the emissions and manufacturing waste associated with its iPhones and other electronics.

The company announced last week that Lens Technology—a China-based manufacturer that builds the high-tech glass for iPhone screens, along with a whole host of other products—has committed to run its Apple manufacturing unit entirely on renewable energy.

The manufacturer intends to make the change by the end of 2018, switching over to wind power purchased from local suppliers.

“Our power purchase agreement is the first of its kind in southern China and we hope it will serve as an example for other companies looking to transition to cleaner, more economical sources of power,” Lens Technology CEO, Zhou Qunfei, said.

“We’re pleased to be the first supplier to commit to covering all of our Apple production with renewable energy, and proud to source from local Hunan wind farms to power our facilities in Changsha,” she added.

Along with the renewable announcement Apple also confirmed all 14 of its final assembly sites in the Asian country are now compliant with UL’s Zero Waste to Landfill validation. Instead of shipping manufacturing waste to landfills, the company reuses, recycles, composts or converts its excess material to energy. Apple said it has diverted more than 140,000 metric tons of waste from Chinese landfills since beginning the program in January of last year.

Apple also powers 100 per cent of its own operations in the country using renewables and has committed to assisting its suppliers install 2 gigawatts of clean power in China.


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