Apple on Thursday launched a first-of-its-kind carbon removal initiative, called the Restore Fund, that will make investments in forestry projects to remove carbon from the atmosphere while generating a financial return for investors.
Launched with Conservation International and Goldman Sachs, Apple’s $200 million fund aims to remove at least one million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide annually from the atmosphere, equivalent to the amount of fuel used by over 200,000 passenger vehicles, while demonstrating a viable financial model that can help scale up investment in forest restoration.
“Nature provides some of the best tools to remove carbon from the atmosphere. Forests, wetlands, and grasslands draw carbon from the atmosphere and store it away permanently in their soils, roots, and branches,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives, said in a statement.
“Through creating a fund that generates both a financial return as well as real, and measurable carbon impacts, we aim to drive broader change in the future — encouraging investment in carbon removal around the globe. Our hope is that others share our goals and contribute their resources to support and protect critical ecosystems.”
This effort is part of Apple’s broader goal to become carbon neutral across its entire value chain by 2030.
While the company will directly eliminate 75 percent of emissions for its supply chain and products by 2030, the fund will help address the remaining 25 percent of Apple’s emissions by removing carbon from the atmosphere, the iPhone maker said.
Trees absorb carbon as they grow, with researchers estimating that tropical forests hold more carbon than humanity has emitted over the past 30 years from burning coal, oil, and natural gas, despite ongoing deforestation.
The partnership aims to unlock the potential of this natural solution by scaling it in a way that makes it attractive to businesses.
To ensure that the carbon stored in forests is being accurately quantified, and permanently locked out of the atmosphere, the Restore Fund will use robust international standards developed by recognized organizations such as Verra, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the UN Climate Convention.
And it will prioritize investments in working forests that improve biodiversity through the creation of buffer zones and natural set-asides, Apple said.