May 17, 2020

Apple announces $300mn clean energy fund for Chinese supply chain

Apple
China
Supply Chain
Asia
James Henderson
2 min
Apple is making significant progress in its effort to make its supply chain greener
Apple has announced what it says is a"first-of-its-kind investment" fund in China to connect companies in its supply chainwith renewable energy sources...

Apple has announced what it says is a "first-of-its-kind investment" fund in China to connect companies in its supply chain with renewable energy sources.

As part of Apple’s commitment to address climate change and increase the use of renewable energy within its supply chain, 10 initial suppliers and Apple will jointly invest nearly $300 million over the next four years into the China Clean Energy Fund.

The fund will invest in and develop clean energy projects totalling more than 1 gigawatt of renewable energy in China, the equivalent of powering nearly 1 million homes. 

”At Apple, we are proud to join with companies that are stepping up to address the climate challenge,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. “We’re thrilled so many of our suppliers are participating in the fund and hope this model can be replicated globally to help businesses of all sizes make a significant positive impact on our planet.”

Since launching the clean energy programme in 2015, 23 manufacturing partners have committed to 100% renewable energy for Apple production.

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Apple said that by virtue of its size and scale, the China Clean Energy Fund will give its participants the advantage of greater purchasing power and the ability to attain more attractive and diverse clean energy solutions.

The China Clean Energy Fund will be managed through a third party, DWS Group, which specialises in sustainable investments and will also invest in the fund. 

Apple is investing in over 485 megawatts of clean energy projects across six provinces in China, to address upstream emissions in our supply chain.

Apple is also working with its suppliers to find new ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The company recently announced it reached a breakthrough with aluminium suppliers Alcoa Corporation and Rio Tinto Aluminium on a new technology that eliminates direct greenhouse gas emissions from the traditional smelting process, a key step in aluminium production. 

The initial suppliers participating in the China Clean Energy Fund include:

  • Catcher Technology
  • Compal Electronics
  • Corning Incorporated
  • Golden Arrow
  • Jabil
  • Luxshare-ICT
  • Pegatron
  • Solvay
  • Sunway Communication
  • Wistron

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Jun 16, 2021

EU and US agree end to Airbus-Boeing supply chain tariffs

supplychain
Boeing
Airbus
tariffs
3 min
Supply chains embroiled in Airbus-Boeing dispute will no longer be impacted by $11.5bn tariffs imposed on food and beverage, aircraft and tobacco

The EU and US have agreed to resolve a 17-year dispute over aircraft subsidies, suspending tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods that have plagued procurement leaders on both sides of the Atlantic. 

Under an agreement reached by European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Tuesday, the tariffs will be halted for a period of at least five years. 

It will bring an end to punitive and disruptive levies on supply chains that have little to do with the argument, which became embroiled in the trade battle. Businesses on both sides of the dispute have been hit with more than $3.3bn in duties since they were first imposed by the US in October 2019, according the EC. 

The US imposed charges on goods upto $7.5bn in response to a World Trade Organisation ruling that judged the EU’s support of Airbus, its biggest aircraft manufacturer, unlawful. A year later in November 2020, the EU hit back. The WTO found the US had violated trade rules in its favourable treatment of Boeing, and was hit with EU duties worth $4bn. 

In all the tariffs affected $11.5bn worth of goods, including French cheese, Scotch whisky, aircraft and machinery in Europe, and sugarcane products, handbags and tobacco in America. Procurement leaders on both sides of the fence were forced to wrestle with tariffs of 15% on aircraft and components, and 25% on non-aircraft related products. 

Boeing-Airbus dispute by the numbers  

  • The dispute began in 2004
  • Tariffs suspended for 5 years 
  • $11.5bn worth of goods affected by tariffs
  • $3.3bn in duties paid by businesses to date 
  • 15% levy on aircraft and 25% on non-aircraft goods suspended

Both sides welcome end to tariffs 

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen branded the truce a “major step” in ending what is the longest running dispute in WTO history. It began in 2004.

“I am happy to see that after intensive work between the European Commission and the US administration, our transatlantic partnership is on its way to reaching cruising speed. This shows the new spirit of cooperation between the EU and the US and that we can solve the other issues to our mutual benefit,” she added.

Both aircraft manufacturers have welcomed the news. Airbus said in a statement that it will hopefully bring to an end the “lose-lose tariffs” that are affecting industries already facing “many challenges”. Boeing added that it will “fully support the U.S. Government’s efforts to ensure that the principles in this understanding are respected”. 

The US aerospace firm added: "The understanding reached today commits the EU to addressing launch aid, and leaves in place the necessary rules to ensure that the EU and United States live up to that commitment, without requiring further WTO action."

This week’s decision expands upon a short-term tariff truce announced in March this year. The EC says it will work closely with the US to try and further resolve the dispute, establishing a Working Group on Large Civil Aircraft led by each side’s trade minister.

Airbus last month signalled to suppliers that post-pandemic recovery was on the horizon, telling them to scale up to meet a return to pre-COVID manufacturing levels. “The aviation sector is beginning to recover from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury, adding that suppliers should prepare for a period of intensive production “when market conditions call for it.”

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