In its 2020 Environmental Progress Report, Apple said that it used 18% less energy in 2019 than the prior year — a result of the energy efficiency measures that it has adopted at facilities globally.
That electricity savings is a result of a wide range of energy efficiency measures at the company’s offices, data centers and retail stores. It’s in addition to Apple’s focus on renewable energy at its physical locations, from Apple Stores to Apple Park.
“Simply put, the cleanest energy is the energy we don’t use,” Apple said in the 2020 report. “And when we use less energy, we need less from clean sources.”
Apple’s energy efficiency initiatives include specifically designing buildings to optimize energy usage, performing routine efficiency audits at its buildings, and improving the efficiency of its supply chain when shipping products to customers.
With existing buildings, Apple says it audits current energy performance and deploys reduction measures when it can. Energy efficiency measures at data centers, for example, can include evaporative cooling, airside economizers and other cooling systems. Apple says it also integrates energy-efficient design when it’s developing new offices or retail locations.
The company said its efficiency programs saved an additional 26.4 million kilowatt hours and 194,500 therms from existing buildings, retrofitting older buildings, and new building design per year in fiscal year 2019. For comparison, the average U.S. household uses an average of 867 kilowatt hours per month, totaling 10,399 kWh per year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
By those numbers, just the additional energy Apple saved in 2019 could power 2,500 average U.S. houses for a year.
Apple also says it works to implement efficiency protocols and policies throughout its supply chain, resulting in 779,000 carbon emissions from partners in 2019. More details on Apple’s supply chain programs can be found in the company’s annual Supplier Responsibility Report.
Along with helping to reduce supplier energy usage, Apple says it encourages electricity reduction during iPhone manufacturing and supports supply partner investments in energy efficiency programs.
Even the way an iPhone ends up on a customer’s doorstep or a store shelf is taken into account. Apple says it’s continually improving shipping efficiency, modes of transport, and its transportation management systems to reduce its carbon footprint.
In Apple’s 2018 report, the company said that its energy efficiency measures saved the company 41.5 million kilowatt hours at its global facilities.