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Business

Apple to invest in clean energy in China

Apple has said it wants to build more solar projects in China to reduce the carbon footprint of its suppliers, many of whom have been criticized for polluting the environment as demand for iPhones and iPads surges.

Apple is taking steps to green its

supply chain in China

, saying it would work with its suppliers to produce 2.2 gigawatts of solar power and other renewable energy by 2020.

As part of a broader shift toward renewables, the world's most valuable company said late Wednesday that it would construct 200 megawatts of solar projects in northern, eastern and southern China, where most of Apple's manufacturing partners are located.

That's more energy than 265,000 Chinese homes produce in a year.

The announcement was made the same day Apple said it had completed 40 megawatts of solar projects in Sichuan Province, a major milestone because it meant the company's 19 corporate offices and 24 retail stores in the country were now all carbon neutral.

Apple said it was "driving its manufacturing partners to become more energy efficient and to use clean energy for their manufacturing operations."

The company's main supplier, Foxconn, said it would contribute 400 megawatts to the effort.

Even as the Chinese economy slows, Apple has no intention of winding down its investments there. CEO Tim Cook said as much to the country's official Xinhua news agency as the company prepares to open its latest store on the mainland.

Cook has previously said he eventually expects China to overtake the US as Apple's largest market.

cjc/uhe (Reuters, AP)

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