SINGAPORE: Apple announced on Sunday (Nov 15) that it has struck a deal to power all of its Singapore operations with renewable energy, the latest in a series of steps from the company to turn its operations worldwide green.
Starting in January, solar energy developer Sunseap Group will provide Apple with 100 per cent renewable electricity from its portfolio of solar energy systems built atop more than 800 buildings in Singapore.
The deal will make Apple the first company in Singapore to run exclusively on renewable energy and marks a significant step in its bid to power 100 per cent of its facilities and operations worldwide with clean fuel.
The Apple partnership will also give Sunseap financing to complete the solar project, said Ms Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives.
Ms Jackson said in an interview with Reuters that the project was a model in "urban greening" and said it would allow Singaporeans "to get access to energy while we meet our own renewable energy goals".
Apple also announced that it will open its first store in Singapore, which will be powered by the program.
"CLIMATE CHANGE A GREAT CHALLENGE"
Apple has spearheaded a variety of projects to clean up its operations at home and overseas, announcing plans in October to build 200 megawatts of solar energy projects in China and work with suppliers there to source more renewable energy.
“Climate change is one of the great challenges of our time, and it’s going to take determination and innovation to make the much needed transition to a green economy,” said Ms Jackson. “This deal will cover all of our electricity needs in Singapore, including our 2,500-person corporate campus and new retail store.”
According to reports, Apple has leased 35,000 square feet of space over two floors at CapitaGreen along Market Street in Singapore.
The iPhone maker has also committed to buy power from a California solar farm to supply electricity for its new Silicon Valley campus and other facilities.
Singapore, the site of one of Apple's largest overseas campuses, is small and densely populated, leaving little room for large, ground-mounted solar arrays. That prompted Sunseap to use rooftops to harness power from the sun.
The rooftop solar panels will be placed on both public-owned buildings and Apple's own facilities, generating 50 MW of solar energy, enough to power the equivalent of 9,000 homes, according to Apple.
Apple will receive 33 MW of the project's capacity. The project won the backing of Singapore's development board because it will also provide electricity for public-owned housing, said Ms Jackson.
Sunseap Managing Director Frank Phuan said the Apple partnership may inspire companies to demand more renewable energy.
"We expect a ripple effect for organisations in Singapore to incorporate sustainability practices in their businesses, especially for listed companies," he said in a statement.
APPLE RETAIL STORE IN SINGAPORE
In a reply to Channel NewsAsia, Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts confirmed that Apple has started hiring staff for the Apple Store.
She said: "We are thrilled to begin hiring the team that will open our first Apple Store in Singapore - an incredible international city and shopping destination. We can’t wait to deliver the service, education and entertainment that is loved by Apple customers around the world.”
It is said the store will replace Pure Fitness at Knightsbridge, after the gym said that it was handing back space for a future Apple store. However, Apple has yet to confirm the location or when the store will open, and the mention of the Apple Store on the Pure Fitness website has since been removed.
There are a total of 17 countries with Apple storefronts, with the latest opening in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.