Apple launches $300m China clean energy fund

The vehicle, which will be managed by Germany’s DWS Group, will help the US tech giant reach its goals of increased clean energy use within its supply chain and developing 2GW of renewables in China.

US tech giant Apple has launched a clean energy fund in which it and 10 of its suppliers will jointly invest nearly $300 million to develop more than 1GW of renewable energy in China.

The China Clean Energy Fund, which will be deployed over the next four years, will be managed by DWS Group, formerly known as Deutsche Asset Management and a part of Deutsche Bank Group, according to a statement from Apple. It said DWS will also make a commitment to the fund.

Apple and DWS had not responded to queries seeking further comments by the time of publication.

Apple described the fund as the “first of its kind” to connect suppliers with renewable energy sources. “We’re thrilled so many of our suppliers are participating in the fund and hope this model can be replicated globally to help businesses of all sizes make a significant positive impact on our planet,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives.

It noted that the fund will make viable clean energy sources more accessible to smaller companies, providing participants greater purchasing power and access to more attractive and diverse energy solutions.

The launch of the clean energy fund builds on Apple’s commitment to increase the use of renewable energy within its supply chain. The iPhone maker and its suppliers are expected to generate more than 4GW of new clean energy globally by 2020, which represents one-third of Apple’s current manufacturing electricity footprint. That also includes a 2GW installation target in China, where Apple has invested in more than 485MW of solar and wind over the past three years.

The 10 suppliers contributing to the fund are: Catcher Technology, Compal Electronics, Corning Incorporated, Golden Arrow, Jabil, Luxshare-ICT, Pegatron, Solvay, Sunway Communication and Wistron.

Earlier in April, Apple announced that its global facilities, including retail stores, offices, data centres, and co-located facilities in 43 countries, are powered with 100 percent clean energy, as it runs 25 operational renewable energy projects globally with a combined generation capacity of 626MW. It also has 15 more projects under construction.

DWS, which will manage the closed-ended vehicle, had €676 billion of assets under management as at the end of March.