Apple bets big on green projects after Trump’s Paris decision

14 Jun 2017

Tim Cook. Image: Laura Hutton/Shutterstock

Apple allocates $1bn for clean initiatives in response to US withdrawal from Paris climate agreement.

The pollution and dust have barely settled after US president Donald Trump withdrew his country from the Paris Agreement.

Even still, the fallout is growing.

Apple Donald Trump

Going green

Apple this week offered a $1bn bond for financing clean energy and environmental projects, representing the first corporate green bond offered since Trump made his move.

This is the second such bond in a little over a year, with $1.5bn previously offered in response to the original signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015.

Apple said this funding is to show that businesses are still committed to the goals of the 194-nation accord.

“Leadership from the business community is essential to address the threat of climate change and protect our shared planet,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives.

Why us?

The move is not surprising. In the immediate aftermath of Trump’s move, tech leaders openly responded in shock.

The decision to take the US out of the pivotal global accord prompted Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to pull out of presidential councils that he was involved in.

Top Silicon Valley leaders, including Salesforce’s Marc Benioff and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, urged the president to reconsider his actions. Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, also joined the corporate cohort, indirectly appealing to Trump to keep the US in the pact.

With no change coming from these pleas, Cook acted.

Specific focus on green

Apple said that proceeds from the green bond sales will be used to finance renewable energy, energy efficiency at its facilities and in its supply chain, and to procure safer materials for its products.

According to Reuters, the bond includes “a specific focus on helping Apple meet a goal of greening its supply chain and using only renewable resources or recycled material, reducing its need to mine rare earth materials”.

Last year, Apple allocated $442m to 16 different projects, from renewable energy to recycling, with its first bond offer.

Tim Cook. Image: Laura Hutton/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic