Facebook, Apple announce fresh green energy deals

Tech majors Facebook, Inc. and Apple Inc. have announced renewable energy deals to become net carbon neutral in their global operations. Facebook will buy renewable energy for its India operations, a first of its kind initiative for the social media giant in South Asia, while Apple’s net zero-carbon move, Restore Fund, is the first such initiative globally.

Facebook is partnering with Mumbai-based clean energy company, CleanMax, to set up a 32 megawatts (MW) wind power project in Karnataka. While CleanMax will own and operate the project, Facebook will buy power off the grid via environmental attribute certificates. “This partnership with CleanMax will enable new solar and wind power to be generated in the near future, contributing to the decarbonization of the Indian electrical grid,” said Urvi Parekh, head of renewable energy, Facebook. Around 50% of the project capacity has been commissioned and generating power.

Facebook had announced a similar tie-up in Singapore last October. The company partnered with solar energy firm Sunseap Group to buy renewable energy that would power its data centres in Asia.

Apple, on the other hand, has launched a $200-million fund which aims to “remove at least 1 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide annually” from the Earth’s atmosphere. This project is in partnership with American non-profit Conservation International and Goldman Sachs. “Through creating a fund that generates both a financial return as well as real and measurable carbon impacts, we aim to drive broader change in the future—encouraging investment in carbon removal around the globe. Our hope is that others share our goals and contribute their resources to support and protect critical ecosystems,” said Lisa Jackson, vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives at Apple.

Apple’s suppliers, Yuto and CCL, are using renewable and sustainably managed materials for packaging its products in India.

Facebook and Apple are among Silicon Valley giants who have pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030. Last month, the iPhone maker said its 110 manufacturing partners will be joining the company’s drive for carbon neutrality, and will be moving to “100% renewable energy” for production by 2030.

In September, Google had also announced plans to make its Google Cloud business carbon-free by 2030. “We are the first cloud provider to make this commitment, and we intend to be the first to achieve it, too,” the company had said in a blog post back then.

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