Apple’s push towards green energy and environmentalism is well known. Tim Cook even called out his conservative investors, telling them they can take their money elsewhere if they don’t support Apple’s investments in environmentally friendly energy and manufacturing techniques. Like most of us, Apple is a company situated on planet Earth, and wants to keep it hospitable for the creatures that call it home. That’s why Apple’s new environmentally friendly office campus will be powered by a new solar farm the company is building, along with all of Apple’s retail stores in California. It’s rare enough to find a company that cares more about the continuation of life on this planet more than profits, but no companies are doing anything on this scale. Once again, Apple’s leading the way.
Apple’s new solar array will cost a whopping $850 million. That’s not much when you consider Apple is a company that pulls in billions in revenue. Not only that, but once built, the solar array will cost less to maintain than buying the electicity from the grid. Apple’s not only making an investment in the Earth, it’s also making a substancial monetary investment that will eventually pay for itself.
Apple’s focused on climate change. Yesterday, Tim Cooked that Apple is a company that doesn’t deny science. Apple knows that climate change is real, and it’s driven by human forces. By burning coal for electricity production and gasoline and diesel for our cars, we’re releasing unprecedented amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) into our atmosphere. CO2 traps heat, which is why Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system, even though it’s not the closest to the sun. On Venus, CO2 and other greenhous gasses trap so much heat that the planet has become an inhospitable oven. If there is a hell, it’s not under our feet, it’s on Venus, where the average temperature is 462ºC (864ºF) and the rain is sulfuric acid. Venus is about the same size as Earth, with the biggest differnce being the thick atmosphere of CO2. With the growing accumulation of CO2 in our atmosphere, Earth is heating up, just like Venus did, and our climate is starting to change, although for different reasons. On Earth, humans are responsible for our gradually warming climate, but Apple doesn’t want any part in that.
If more companies followed Apple’s lead we’d already be talking about climate change the same way we talk about lead based paints and lead in gasoline. We now know that there are harmful to the health of living things, but when they were popular, the very same politicians and corporations fought scientists that are now fighting climate change. Apple’s bucking the trend. By being one of the most valuable companies in the world and actually fighting climage change, rather than denying it, Apple has become an outlier. Interestingly enough, the second most valuable company in the world is Exxon, one of the many companies denying climate change and contributing to it.
Apple’s solar farm will be completed in 2016. The farm, when finished, will measre 130,000 square acres, and will triple Apple’s use of solar energy when turned on. With this plant, Apple will set an example for other companies, while simultaneously showing them that there are two reasons to invest in green, renewable energy. First, is that after the initial investment, green energy eventually pays for itself. Second, and for many this is a big one, it ensures that humans will continue to be able to live on this rock hurtling though space that we call home. For some, that’s more important than money.