study by Greenpeace East Asia and Stand.earth

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Taipei, Taiwan, October 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Tech brands such as Microsoft and Google have achieved 100% renewable energy in their own operations, but their supply chains are still powered primarily by coal, gas and oil, according to a new report from Greenpeace East Asia and Stand.earth.

“Tech brands like Microsoft and Google have made progress toward greening their own operations, but their supply chains Asia are extremely polluting. The suppliers that make the components for our cell phones and computers, such as TSMC and Samsung Electronics, primarily use electricity generated from coal and other fossil fuels. Brands like Microsoft and Google talk a lot about climate action, but in reality, their supply chain carbon footprint has been steadily growing. Consumer electronics brands must provide incentives and support to their suppliers for the transition to renewable energy,” the Greenpeace East Asia campaigner said. Xueying Wu.

The researchers ranked the decarbonization efforts of 10 of the world’s largest consumer electronics brands and 14 of their largest suppliers. [1] In 2021, the combined electricity consumption of all ranked companies exceeded 170,000 GWh, more than that of Argentina. [2] On average, 77% of electronics industry emissions are generated by the supply chain. [3]

Main findings:

  • Suppliers to Microsoft, Google and other major consumer electronics brands rely heavily on fossil fuels. The researchers studied 14 of the largest suppliers of major consumer electronics brands and found that only four reported a renewable energy usage rate above 10%. In 2021, the median renewable energy usage rate for all 14 suppliers was 5%.
  • Microsoft backs off on supply chain emissions. In 2020, Microsoft pledged to cut its emissions, including its supply chain, by more than half within a decade. The following year, Microsoft’s supply chain emissions increased by 23%. [4]
  • Apple is the only major tech company to have set a 100% renewable energy target for its supply chain and has made significant progress towards that goal. However, Apple did not disclose detailed data on its supply chain energy and emissions.
  • In 2021, TSMC and SK Hynix, two semiconductor manufacturing giants that supply Apple and Microsoft, reported renewable energy usage rates of just 9% and 4%,
    respectively. In contrast, Apple and Microsoft have all achieved 100% renewable energy in their own operations.
  • Emissions from major semiconductor manufacturers are on the rise. Since 2019, emissions have increased from Samsung Electronics (26.1%), TSMC (17.5%), Intel (13.5%) and SK Hynix (11.7%), four of the world’s leading manufacturers of semi- drivers in terms of turnover. Collectively, their customers include Apple, Microsoft, and Google, among other brands.

The electricity consumption of the global technology sector is expected to increase by more than 60% between 2020 and 2030. [5]

“All electronics brands, including suppliers, must achieve 100% renewable energy by 2030. Consumer electronics brands should require their suppliers to set targets for renewable energy and emissions reductions and create incentives to ensure these targets are met Suppliers must select high-impact renewable energy supply methods to meet their targets,” said the global campaign director on the Stand Earth climate Gary Cook.

Remarks

[1] Samsung Electronics is a leading consumer electronics brand and semiconductor manufacturer. For this reason, it appears in both the consumer electronics brand category and the vendor category of the report.

[2] OUCH. (2022). Electricity information. Recovered September 20, 2022of https://www.iea.org/countries/argentina

[3] World Economic Forum and Boston Consulting Group. (2021). Net-Zero Challenge: The Supply Chain Opportunity. Recovered September 20, 2022of https://www.weforum.org/reports/net-zero-challenge-the-supply-chain-opportunity/

[4] Smith, B. & Joppa, L. (2022). Official Microsoft blog posted online March 10, 2022: ‘An Update on Microsoft’s Sustainability Commitments: Building a Foundation for 2030’. Recovered September 14, 2022of https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2022/03/10/an-update-on-microsofts-sustainability-commitments-building-a-foundation-for-2030/

[5] Andrae, ASGA (2020). New perspectives on the use of electricity on the Internet in 2030. Engineering and applied science letters. 3. 19-31.

SOURCE Stand.Earth

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