As part of Earth Day, Apple said Friday that its grant to the Applied Environmental Research Foundation will go toward conserving mangrove forests in India, the second such project the company has funded as part of its environmental initiatives. Apple said the foundation will work with local communities to reduce logging, by supporting the communities with items like portable bio-stoves that allow people to cook without cutting down mangroves for firewood.
"The fight against climate change is a fight for the communities around the world whose lives and livelihoods are most threatened by the crisis, and that's where we've focused our work — from Colombia to Kenya to the Philippines," Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, said in a statement. "Our new partnership in India continues this momentum, helping a community benefit economically from the restoration of the mangrove forests that protect against the worst impacts of climate change."
Though Apple didn't say how much investment it's focusing on the mangrove project in India, the communities it's working with are spread across 21,000 hectares of mangrove forests. That's similar to the 27,000 hectares it worked to support in Colombia with Conservation International, which it announced in 2019.
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Apple's project in India is its latest in a series of efforts to offset the massive environmental impact created by the millions of iPhones, iPads and Mac computers it makes, ships and sells. The company counted 1.8 billion iPhones, iPads and iPod music players being actively used around the world last year, up from 1.65 billion the same time a year prior.
Some of Apple's efforts have focused on projects like conservation and reforestation. Apple has also invested in projects to recycle materials used to make its devices, including aluminum for the chassis, tin for solder and cobalt for batteries. Earlier this week, the company said nearly 20% of all the materials used to create its products last year were recycled, its highest level yet. The company has worked with its suppliers to reduce their carbon footprint as well.
Apple's mangroves project comes at a time when scientists around the world are raising alarms about the dangers of global climate change spurred by human activity such as manufacturing, deforestation and travel. Other tech giants including Samsung, Microsoft, Google and Amazon have announced their own programs to offset their carbon footprint, reduce the environmental impacts from their products and invest in conservation efforts. Companies including Apple and Samsung have begun focusing on mangrove forests in particular because they're so effective at pulling carbon pollutants out of the air.