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Apple is taking its clean energy promise to Japan and the open sea

Why it matters to you

Apple has been pushing for clean energy for years and the latest manifestation of that comes in the form of a floating solar island.

Apple’s highly anticipated new campus isn’t going to be the only ambitiously green infrastructure — it’s got a floating island in Japan in the works, too. On Wednesday, Apple announced that its component supplier Ibiden (a 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 “power all of its Apple manufacturing with 100 percent renewable energy.” Calling it a “significant step forward in Apple’s efforts to help its manufacturing partners transition to clean power,” Apple is now on track to be generating more than 2.5 billion kilowatt hours per year of clean energy for manufacturing products by the end of 2018.

To make good on their promise, Ibiden is planning to invest in more than 20 new renewable energy facilities, one of which is among the largest floating solar photovoltaic systems in Japan. The impressive structure is built on a converted lumberyard to ensure that the island nation doesn’t lose too much real estate in the name of environmental friendliness.

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“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 echoed these sentiments, with Kyoichi Yamanaka, Managing Director of Ibiden’s Environment Group noting, “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.”