The importance placed on looking after the planet as well as a company’s packaging requirements continues to grow across all sectors, but few businesses are going as far as computer giant Apple in their quest for the ultimate green credentials.
Apple is now actively buying forests in America and forming relationships with nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) in China in a bid to tackle deforestation and improve the forest management integral to its supply chain. Not content to just buy from sustainable sources, the media giant is looking to actively protect the equivalent amount of land needed to fulfil its packaging needs.
Earlier this year, in April, the iPhone creator announced it would hand over the money needed by the Conservation Fund to purchase and protect forests spanning 36,000 acres in North Carolina and Maine in the United States, and it has just revealed that it will be working alongside the World Wildlife Fund in a bid to improve forest management of around one million acres of Chinese land.
These moves are part of an overall endeavour by the company to increase the supply of sustainable paper and forestry pulp that it needs to meet its packaging requirements, which includes everything from cardboard boxes to corrugated paper.
Apple’s approach is a huge departure from the more common corporate practice of companies only choosing to buy certified sustainable forest products. Will other businesses follow suit in actively buying up land or financially supporting its protection? Let’s hope so. We at Holmes Mann would certainly like to see more of this kind of investment from some of the other big players out there too. After all, our environment is everyone’s, including our children’s future.
Forest protection groups have welcomed Apple’s announcements and are hoping that the company’s moves will raise awareness amongst the wider public of the need to protect forests, along with prompting other businesses to take similar steps.
In both China and the US, Apple is providing undisclosed sums of money to allow non-profit groups to work on improving logging and farming practices in forests already providing raw packaging materials.
They are not necessarily supplying products to Apple or to its contract manufacturing associates, however. Instead, the company is committed to protecting the amount of forest land that is responsible for producing equivalent amounts of the virgin fibres that Apple needs.
According to Lisa Jackson, the head of Apple’s environmental initiatives, the company is aiming to accomplish 100 per cent offset in terms of the virgin fibre it uses by using a range of other measures, including adopting more compact forms of packaging, using more recycled paper and sourcing the paper used with sustainability firmly in mind.