Apple doesn't toot its horn much about its efforts to reduce its corporate carbon footprint. (I don't count the Apple and the Environment website that nobody I know has read.)
According to Fehrenbacher, the easiest way to sense the scale of Apple's clean energy operations is to drive past its huge Maiden, N.C., data center on U.S. 321.
"In the world of clean energy," she writes, "there are a lot of ways that companies can pay to green their operations — many buy renewable energy credits that offset consumption of fossil fuel based energy. But building solar farms and a fuel cell farm next to a data center could be the surest way to add clean power in a way that can be validated and seen by the public. It seems like Apple execs thought if they were going to commit to the whole idea of clean energy, it was going to be all the way.
"The effects of the clean energy projects on Apple's brand also can't be discounted. Apple has a powerful and potentially fragile consumer brand, and the data center in North Carolina was a major push for Apple to move more heavily into cloud services. A record for the largest privately-owned solar farm in the U.S., could add significant branding capital to a brand trying to stay on top."
Perhaps. But doing its part to reduce global warming doesn't seem at all out of character for Apple.
My three favorite facts from Fehrenbacher's story:
A few years ago, markets for trading pollution rights were lauded by U.S. politicians of all political persuasions. No longer.
FORTUNE -- The idea of setting a firm limit on carbon dioxide emissions but letting the market decide who should do the allowable amount of polluting is an environmental policy that seems to have a little something for everyone. Lefties like the hard limits. Righties like the flexible markets, or at MOREScott Woolley - Apr 5, 2011 10:13 AM ET
Oracle's reclusive president continues to make the case that U.S. companies should be allowed to help the economy by brining overseas earnings home, nearly tax-free.
By Dan Mitchell, contributor
There is a big difference, says Oracle President Safra Catz, between the $800 billion federal stimulus package and the "repatriation" of $1 trillion in foreign corporate holdings that she advocates. Unlike the stimulus, "my money has already been printed," she said Friday, drawing MOREScott Olster, editor - Mar 14, 2011 11:27 AM ET
Last week, the nation's third-largest utility, Duke Energy (DUK) filed an application for $200 million in federal stimulus funds to bolster its $1 billion smart grid initiative in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. Today the company is announcing that it has found a partner to supply the guts for the project -- and it's not who you might think.Jeffrey M. O'Brien - Aug 10, 2009 8:13 AM ET
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