Apple targets carbon removal with new $200m fund

15 Apr 2021236 Views

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The company is aiming to encourage further climate investment with a new fund that generates both financial return and ‘measurable carbon impacts’.

Apple is launching a new initiative that will make investments in forestry projects to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

The $200m Restore Fund is being launched with US non-profit Conservation International and Goldman Sachs. It aims to remove at least 1m metric tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually, which is equivalent to the amount of fuel used by more than 200,000 passenger vehicles.

The initiative also aims to demonstrate a viable financial model that can help scale up investments in forest restoration.

“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,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice-president of environment, policy and social initiatives.

“Our hope is that others share our goals and contribute their resources to support and protect critical ecosystems.”

Co-investor Conservation International will ensure projects meet environmental standards laid out by the likes of the UN and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, while Goldman Sachs will manage the fund.

The three parties will identify new projects later this year. The fund will prioritise investments in working forests that improve biodiversity through the creation of buffer zones and natural set-asides.

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“We all agree that the urgency of climate transition requires private capital to work alongside new and established efforts aimed at sustainably removing carbon from the atmosphere with rigour and high standards,” said Dina Powell, global head of sustainability at Goldman Sachs.

“We believe launching this fund can catalyse significant additional investment capital for climate impact.”

Climate focus

The Restore Fund is part of Apple’s goal to become carbon neutral across its value chain by the end of this decade. While the company plans to eliminate 75pc of emissions for its supply chain and products by 2030, it is hoped this initiative will help address the remaining 25pc by tackling carbon in the atmosphere.

Apple has already partnered with Conservation International and local organisations on forestry conservation projects in Colombia and Kenya. The company claims that it has improved the management of more than a million acres of forests globally to date and has used responsibly sourced fibres in its packaging for the past three years.

Outside of forestry, the company is also planning a $4.7bn investment in clean energy and funded 17 renewable projects around the world last year.

Jackson, who is a former US environmental regulator, tweeted earlier this week that Apple has publicly disclosed its greenhouse gas emissions for the past decade and believes “other companies should do the same”.

In Ireland, Apple said that it has made a multimillion-euro investment in its Hollyhill campus in Co Cork over the last eight years to ensure it is run on a carbon-neutral basis. This includes investments in building sustainability, smart lighting, solar panels, electric car charging points and environmental landscaping.

Sarah Harford is sub-editor of Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com