Today’s Solutions: November 26, 2021

As the titans of the tech industry have come under increasing public scrutiny for their massive carbon footprints, lately we’ve seen an increasing number of such companies step up their commitments to tackle the climate crisis.

Apple is the latest tech giant to make such a pledge, recently announcing that it plans to eliminate its contributions to climate change this decade. To reach its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030, it will slash its greenhouse gas pollution by 75 percent, while the remaining 25 percent of its emissions will be offset through reforestation projects.

Over the last couple of years, the tech company has been cutting back on its planet-heating pollution by using recycled materials and improving the energy efficiency of its products, which are now 73 percent more energy-efficient than they were 11 years ago.

According to Apple, its operations — including emissions from its facilities and business travel — became carbon neutral in April of this year. The most challenging part, however, is to shrink emissions from making its products, which accounted for 76 percent of its carbon footprint in 2019. To take on that challenge, the company is looking to work with suppliers that run on renewable energy

Apple is also banking on being able to draw down carbon dioxide it’s responsible for releasing into the atmosphere. But rather than investing in emerging technologies like some of its rivals, it has committed to working with environmental groups like Conservation International to protect and restore forests and mangroves that draw in and store carbon dioxide naturally.

The company’s commitment comes on the heels of climate goals set by Microsoft and Amazon. Microsoft this year said it would draw down more carbon emissions than it emits by 2030, and it promised to invest $1 billion in technologies that would help it remove all of its past emissions. While Amazon set a target of becoming carbon neutral by 2040, and it recently pledged a $2 billion fund to accelerate the development of carbon-cutting technologies.

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