Apple publishes 2017 Environmental Responsibility Report

Apple has released its 2017 Environmental Responsibility Report, which covers the company's progress on environmental impact initiatives from the 2016 fiscal year. The report details Apple's work in reducing its carbon footprint, helping suppliers do the same, and more.

When it comes to clean power, Apple is working with the companies to its supply chain in an effort to reduce the overall environmental impact of the manufacturing process. From the report:

As part of our clean energy program, Apple and our suppliers will generate and procure more than 4 gigawatts of new clean power worldwide by 2020, including 2 gigawatts in China alone, and use it to reduce emissions associated with manufacturing. Already, commitments made as of April 2017 represent a total of 2 gigawatts. Once completed, the 4 gigawatts of clean power will represent 30 percent of our current manufacturing carbon footprint.

In order to help suppliers gain better access to clean energy, the company has launched the Clean Energy Portal, which offers guidance for acquiring clean power in that supplier's region. The portal will also be used to offer manufacturers updates on renewable energy as Apple makes strides in that area.

Apple has also made some improvements to its own facilities, with 96% of their power now coming from renewable sources. This is up from 93% last year.

The company is also looking to create what it calls a closed-loop supply chain, with plans to rely more on recycled materials in making new devices. The goal of this, ultimately, if for Apple to stop using mining in order to gather materials for its products. Apple has already made some strides in this area with the use of Liam, a robot used to disassemble iPhones down to their individual components. While moving away from mining completely will take some work, it's interesting to see Apple take on this issue.