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Apple plans to bring its carbon footprint to net zero by 2030

Everything is already in motion

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The earth is dying. It’s a morbid thought but it’s true. This is why many groups and individuals have been advocating for a shift to renewable energy. Apple is heeding this call with a commitment to bring its carbon footprint to net zero 10 years from now. It’s a tall task.

The idea is to become carbon neutral across its entire business, manufacturing supply chain, and product life cycle by 2030. The company is already carbon neutral today for its global corporate operations.

This new commitment means that by 2030, every Apple device sold will have net zero climate impact. Naturally, Apple has a plan.

Apple is establishing an Impact Accelerator. This will focus on investing in minority-owned businesses that drive positive outcomes in its supply chain and in communities that are disproportionately affected by environmental hazards.

This accelerator is part of Apple’s recently announced US$100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative. This is focused on efforts that address education, economic equality, and criminal justice reform.

The 10-year roadmap

Apple’s 10-year roadmap will lower emissions with a series of innovative actions. These are as follows.

Low carbon product design

Apple will continue to increase the use of low carbon and recycled materials in its products, innovate in product recycling, and design products to be as energy efficient as possible.

  • Apple’s latest recycling innovation is a robot the company is calling “Dave.” It  disassembles the Taptic Engine from iPhone to better recover key materials such as rare earth magnets and tungsten while also enabling recovery of steel, the next step following its line of “Daisy” iPhone disassembly robots.
  • The company’s Material Recovery Lab in Austin, Texas is now partnering with Carnegie Mellon University to further develop engineering solutions. This lab is focused on innovative electronics recycling technology
  • All iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch devices released in the past year are made with recycled content, including 100 percent recycled rare earth elements in the iPhone Taptic Engine — a first for Apple and for any smartphone.
  • Apple decreased its carbon footprint by 4.3 million metric tons in 2019 through design and recycled content innovations in its products. Over the past 11 years, Apple has reduced the average energy needed for product use by 73 percent.

Expanding energy efficiency

Apple will identify new ways to lower energy use at its corporate facilities and help its supply chain make the same transition.

  • Through a new partnership with Apple, the US-China Green Fund will invest $100 million in accelerated energy efficiency projects for Apple’s suppliers.
  • The number of facilities participating in Apple’s Supplier Energy Efficiency Program grew to 92 in 2019; these facilities avoided over 779,000 annualized metric tons of supply chain carbon emissions.
  • Last year, Apple invested in energy efficiency upgrades to over 6.4 million square feet of new and existing buildings, lowering electricity needs by nearly one-fifth and saving the company $27 million.

Renewable energy

Apple will remain at 100 percent renewable energy for its operations — focusing on creating new projects and moving its entire supply chain to clean power.

  • Apple now has commitments from over 70 suppliers to use 100 percent renewable energy for Apple production — equivalent to nearly 8 gigawatts in commitments to power the manufacturing of its products. Once completed, these commitments will avoid over 14.3 million metric tons of CO2e annually — the equivalent of taking more than 3 million cars off the road each year.
  • New and completed projects in Arizona, Oregon, and Illinois bring Apple’s renewable capacity for its corporate operations to over 1 GW — equivalent to powering over 150,000 homes a year. Over 80 percent of the renewable energy that Apple sources for its facilities are now from Apple-created projects, benefiting communities and other businesses.
  • Globally, Apple is launching one of the largest new solar arrays in Scandinavia, as well as two new projects providing power to under-served communities in the Philippines and Thailand.

Process and material innovations

Apple will tackle emissions through technological improvements to processes and materials needed for its products.

  • Apple is supporting the development of the first-ever direct carbon-free aluminium smelting process through investments and collaboration with two of its aluminium suppliers.
  • Today the company is announcing that the first batch of this low carbon aluminium is currently being used in production intended for use with the 16-inch MacBook Pro®.
  • Through partnerships with its suppliers, Apple reduced emissions from fluorinated gases by more than 242,000 metric tons in 2019. Fluorinated gases are used in the manufacturing of some consumer electronics components and can contribute to global warming.

Carbon removal

Apple is investing in forests and other nature-based solutions around the world to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

  • Apple is announcing today a first-of-its-kind carbon solutions fund to invest in the restoration and protection of forests and natural ecosystems globally.
  • In partnership with Conservation International, the company will invest in new projects, building on learnings from existing work like restoring degraded savannahs in Kenya and a vital mangrove ecosystem in Colombia. Mangroves not only protect the coasts and help support the livelihood of those communities where they grow, but they also can store up to 10 times more carbon than forests on land.
  • Through its work with The Conservation Fund, the World Wildlife Fund, and Conservation International, the company has protected and improved the management of over 1 million acres of forests and natural climate solutions in China, the US, Colombia, and Kenya.

Apple is working with governments, businesses, NGOs, and consumers around the world to make all of these possible. Check out the links below for more detailed information on these plans.

Enterprise

ARM is developing a 192-core processor

Limited to cloud computing for now

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How many cores do you want on your smartphone? Most smartphone users can settle for eight cores. However, ARM wants to blow that figure out of the park. According to a roadmap, ARM is developing a 192-core processor.

Reported by TechRadar, the British chipmaker is building the gigantic chipset as part of its expanded Neoverse lineup. Currently, the lineup can already go up to 128 cores. With that, it will offer better performance and DDR5 memory. According to the same report, the upcoming processor will go up against Intel and AMD.

However, if you’re hoping to grab one for your smartphone, you’re still out of luck. For now, ARM is reserving the technology for cloud computing, rather than for smartphones. It will take a while before massive chipsets make their way to consumer products.

The company has also made further headlines recently. As confirmed by the buyer itself, Nvidia will purchase ARM from current owner SoftBank. With the report of the 192-core processor today, Nvidia likely knew about the upcoming roadmap before making the purchase.

That said, ARM’s future will still need some marinating time before it lands in our hands. We can only imagine what a 192-core processor on a smartphone will look like.

SEE ALSO: Apple is shifting to Arm-based Macs but isn’t interested in buying the company

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US has blocked another major Chinese company

Due to “unacceptable risk”

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After a seemingly successful crusade against Huawei and an ongoing battle against TikTok, the Trump administration is starting separate fights against other companies. Recently, the government inquired about Tencent’s potential connections with the Chinese government. Skipping the line, the US has blocked another major Chinese company.

This time, the country’s target is China’s biggest chipmaking company, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC). Earlier this month, the government had already pondered on the potential ban. Today, the Commerce Department added SMIC to the current list of blacklisted Chinese companies.

According to a Reuters report, the SMIC’s hardware poses “unacceptable risk,” potentially succumbing to military use. As expected, potential customers must now apply for an operating license to do business with the SMIC. Likewise, the SMIC denies any ties with the Chinese military.

With the inclusion, the SMIC joins the likes of Huawei, ZTE, and TikTok in facing adversity on American soil. Since Trump’s crusade against Huawei and ZTE, the United States has shone critical eyes against several Chinese companies operating in the country.

At the point, all implicated Chinese companies have not enjoyed any long-lasting reprieve from American criticism. Now, after SMIC’s inclusion, the list keeps growing with no signs of stopping.

SEE ALSO: Globe will replace Huawei-supplied equipment

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Enterprise

Globe launches network upgrade to improve connectivity by 2021

The telco is building more cell sites and rolling out fiber cable upgrades

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During the 2020 State of the Nation Address, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte urged telcos to improve their service as most Filipinos work or learn from home. Now, Globe is embarking on its largest network upgrade to keep up with growing demands for a reliable and faster Internet connection.

A three-pronged strategy for Globe network upgrade

As part of its upgrade, the telco has laid out a three-pronged strategy to improve connectivity for customers. The first part of the strategy is building more cell sites throughout the Philippines. The telco is working with different government sectors to make this possible. Through the support of the Anti-Red Tape Authority and Bayanihan 2, the process of obtaining permits to build cell sites is much faster and simplified.

This simplified process enabled Globe to construct 900 cell sites alone in 2020. The telco obtained 190 permits from 80 local government units, making key upgrades in several areas of Visayas and Mindanao possible. It has also built 32 new towers in several barangays across Quezon City.

The second part of Globe’s strategy is diversifying 4G frequencies for increased frequency and speed. Through this, more Filipinos can now enjoy faster 4G speeds and coverage anywhere in the country.

The final part of Globe’s strategy is intensifying its fiberization efforts nationwide. The telco is upgrading its old copper cables to newer fiber optic cables. A rollout of fiber lines happened in key areas of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Batangas, Cebu, and Davao del Sur within the span of eight months.

Overall, the rollout represented a full 51.4% increase over its 2019 fiberization efforts. By now, the telco is in the process of migrating customers from copper lines to fiber.

Moving to 5G

Globe is also busy rolling out next-generation 5G networks across the country. Recently, it expanded the reach of its 5G network to nine more cities within Metro Manila. The network expansion follows the initial rollout that happened in busy commercial districts such as Makati, Ortigas, and Bonifacio Global City.

Globe hopes to complete its network upgrade by 2021. It has already spent a considerable amount of money on undertaking this huge initiative. Hopefully, the promise of the better connection surfaces as the new year begins. After all, the Internet in the Philippines remains one of the slowest in Asia.

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