OPINION: Companies need to go carbon-neutral

Apple’s decision to go carbon neutral sets a good example for other businesses

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ANISSA CHAK

Green energy is crucial for our future, and it all starts with corporations.

JACQUELINE MALDONADO-HERNANDEZ, Evergreen columnist

Famed electronics company Apple has announced its plan to go carbon neutral by 2030, which is 20 years earlier than required by the United Nations, who issued a document requiring businesses to go carbon neutral by 2050.

While attending the TEDxWSU Countdown event Oct. 13, I found it very interesting to learn about carbon-neutral energy among other initiatives to provide a healthier environment. However, what really caught my attention was Apple’s plan.

“Today, Apple is carbon neutral for all of our own operations and we’re running on 100 percent renewable energy,” said Lisa Jackson, chief sustainability officer at Apple, at the TEDxWSU event.

Apple met its goal to work on renewable energy in 2018, but has decided to challenge themselves and focus on using carbon-neutral energy.

“We know how to do this work. The challenge for 2030 is to convert our supply chain and that work has already begun,” Jackson said at the event. “Our last piece will be to convert the energy that our customers used to charge our devices to clean energy.”

Apple’s decision is fairly revolutionary in the business world.

“[Going carbon neutral] is pretty time-sensitive,” said Soho Divers, sophomore finance major at WSU.

Divers said taking steps towards this new goal will take time, so it is understandable why the UN gave businesses until 2050 to complete this task. However, she explains the necessity for these corporations to take action.

“Nothing’s really gonna change unless those big companies change too,” said Divers. “They’re responsible for the majority of pollution.”

Divers said the important thing is making the world a better place for the younger generation. If corporations fail to take action, then they will be breaking their promise to work towards a safe future.

“We decided to challenge ourselves to go as fast as we could possibly do it so that other businesses wouldn’t have that excuse to say ‘I need longer,’” Jackson said.

Apple is determined to meet the public’s demand by taking action.

“It’s better to get these things started sooner rather than later because we might not have later,” said Piper Even, senior public relations major.

Even mentioned a connection in regards to Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax.” There is a song called “How Bad Can I Be?” written by Ed Helms. In the song, Helms wrote, “How bad can I be? I’m just building the economy.”

In other words, corporations that do not acknowledge that they can impact the environment are only thinking about how they benefit the economy.

“It moved our economy, but at what cost?” Even said.

In “The Lorax,” the characters have to pay to access clean air. Who is to say this won’t happen due to human pollution? In the future, having clean air will be a privilege, just like many have the privilege to have access to clean water.

Even said we may not be at the point of being able to effectively use carbon-neutral energy yet, but we could be. Corporations should push themselves to reach this goal. The claim that there is time is merely a distraction for these companies to continue their practices rather than working towards shifting to carbon-neutral energy.

Apple is doing its best to go carbon neutral. They are taking action now and showing themselves to be leaders for other corporations. Who will be the first corporation to go carbon neutral?

We have yet to find out.