Apple, Nike launch program training suppliers to buy clean energy


Apple, Nike and PepsiCo along with other global firms have launched the Clean Energy Procurement Academy to train supply chain partners in the Asia Pacific, where renewable power is tougher to source.

In the last five years, big corporations have signed contracts to buy 148 GW of clean energy, with the aim of cutting their Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions. Now, a half-dozen of these companies are funding a training program to accelerate the adoption of renewable power in their Asia Pacific supply chains.

(Photo: iStock)

The Clean Energy Procurement Academy was created by Nike and Apple, both of which have been training suppliers on their own, along with Amazon, Meta, PepsiCo and REI Coop. The program first will focus on suppliers that have a material impact on their companies’ emissions.

Sarah Chandler, vice president of environment and supply chain innovation at Apple, said "We need the whole world to transition … The more folks we educate on these topics, the more people are engaging, and the more likely we are to see policies that motivate clean energy around the world."

The companies aim to spur demand for renewables and policy change in China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam and others.

"There is a recognition that any one company cannot decarbonize global supply chains. It will take collaboration around decision-making and training materials, " said Eric Gibbs, senior vice president of global programs for the Clean Energy Buyers Initiative, which is managing the program.

The academy trained 15 firms in Jiangsu, China, in early October. Another session is planned for Guangdong before the end of the month. Gibbs pointed out that the companies supporting the first session each nominated three suppliers. The nominees are being encouraged, in turn, to harmonize their efforts to embrace clean energy procurement.

A windmill in Wuhan. Accroding to Apple, nearly 70 suppliers in China are now committed to 100 percent renewable electricity. (Photo: Apple)

Apple contributed training materials from a four-year-old program for supply chain partners, resulting in the addition of over 13.7 GW in supplied power so far. This translates into 17.4 million tonnes of avoided emissions reductions. More than 250 Apple manufacturing suppliers worldwide have committed to using renewables for Apple-related production by 2030.

Apple’s training modules were combined with similar materials from other companies, which are being localized for each market. For instance, PepsiCo launched a program in spring 2022 to assist its partners in learning how to negotiate clean energy purchasing contracts, but best practices vary region to region.

The material offered at the first training includes the role clean energy procurement plays in addressing climate change, an overview of the evolving regulatory landscape and stakeholder and consumer expectations. It also covers techniques for greenhouse gas accounting, including how to measure Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, how to set corporate commitments on climate action, and how to report against those targets.

Gibbs said it will take 12 to 24 months for the program to reach the point where it involves hundreds of suppliers. The academy is in talks with other companies interested in sponsoring the effort, he said.

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