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Apple's new campus to be 'greenest' on Earth?

With 7,000 trees and buried parking lots, CEO Tim Cook expects the new headquarters to be a major statement of Apple's environmental push.

Ben Fox Rubin Former senior reporter
Ben Fox Rubin was a senior reporter for CNET News in Manhattan, reporting on Amazon, e-commerce and mobile payments. He previously worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and got his start at newspapers in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Ben Fox Rubin
2 min read

Apple Campus 2, a 2.8-million-square-foot building expected to be completed in 2016. Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Monday offered up the heady goal of making his company's new headquarters the most environmentally friendly building there is out there.

"We're building a new headquarters that I think will be the greenest building on the planet," he said during the Climate Week NYC conference. "It'll be a center for innovation, and it's something clearly our employees want and we want."

The building, which has been likened to a spaceship, is now under construction in Cupertino, Calif., and expected to be completed in 2016. When done, it will take up 2.8 million square feet and be doughnut shaped.

Apple has said that the headquarters will be 80 percent landscape with more than 7,000 trees. Parking lots will be buried underground, and the campus will include one of the largest onsite corporate solar energy installations in the world. The facility will be able to accommodate over 14,000 employees, more than five times the number Apple's current Cupertino headquarters can fit.

With the headquarters as a prime example of what Apple hopes to do to fight climate change, Cook said at the conference his company will focus on making its supply chain greener, as well. The company in 2012 faced criticism after The New York Times published a series on Apple's Chinese suppliers, which spotlighted questionable labor and environmental practices. Apple has since worked to improve those conditions.

Cook said the effort to make the supply chain more environmentally friendly was "dirty" and "detailed" work, but he reinforced Apple's commitment to making improvements.

"We know that we will not make enough of a difference if we only solve our little piece of the world," he said. "We need to be one of the pebbles in the pond that creates the ripple."