No, not THAT WWF. You know, the World Wildlife Fund, the pals of the pandas. Apple is teaming up with the WWF's Chinese arm to help protect and create the sustainable forests which the iPhone maker uses in its manufacturing processes and packaging.
It's a win-win situation for both parties: Apple is striving to reach a point where its product packaging needs have a neutral impact on the world's environment, while China (as the world's largest timber importer) needs a sustainable forestry industry of its own. Together, Apple and the WWF aim to protect a million acres of forest across China.
"This collaboration between our two organizations will seek to reduce China’s ecological footprint by helping produce more wood from responsibly managed forests within its own borders," said WWF China CEO Lo Sze Ping.
Apple will also aim to assist the Chinese companies it works with in reducing their carbon emissions and easing their resource consumption by introducing an increased focus on renewable energy.
""We’re ready to start leading the way toward reducing carbon emissions from manufacturing," said CEO Tim Cook.
"This won’t happen overnight — in fact it will take years — but it’s important work that has to happen, and Apple is in a unique position to take the initiative toward this ambitious goal."
Apple's environmental goals have clearly recently become an increasingly important part of the company's charm offensive. It announced similar plans to protect 36,000 acres of forest in Maine and North Carolina just last month, has invested £1.25 billion on "state-of-the-art data centres in County Galway and Denmark's central Jutland that will use 100 per cent renewable energy, and is building a giant solar farm in Monterey California to power its new headquarters and mobile data centres.
China is now Apple's second-biggest market after the US, and with Apple having come under fire in the past for the labour practices its Chinese manufacturing partners employ, it's a wise move to see it pro-actively addressing environmental concerns in the region. [Apple]