Apple has become increasingly friendly to the environment under CEO Tim Cook, and on Thursday the company unveiled its latest eco-initiative. Through a partnership with The Conversation Fund, Apple will harvest timber sustainably from its own 36,000 acres of forest instead of outsourcing the materials for its product packaging.
“Apple is clearly leading by example—one that we hope others will follow,” said Larry Selzer, president and CEO of The Conservation Fund. “By all accounts, the loss of America’s working forests is one of our nation’s greatest environmental challenges. The initiative announced today is precedent-setting.”
The forested area is located in two separate regions along the East coast. Combined, it’s bigger than San Francisco. The goal is to use a “working forest” method that ensures the forests will live on indefinitely despite regular logging. Apple plans to use the fiber for its own packaging, while also selling some to other companies interested in sustainable timber.
“Apple believes that paper, like energy, can be a renewable resource,” wrote Apple’s VP of environmental initiatives Lisa Jackson in a blog post announcing the news. “So Apple is striving to supply 100 percent of the virgin fibers used in its paper and packaging from sustainably managed forests or controlled wood sources.”
Earlier this year, Apple announced plans for a huge solar farm in California that will power all of its offices and stores in the state. Last year, the company released a video pledging its commitment to the environment. In the short film, Cook promised to use “greener materials” and “less packaging.” After Thursday’s announcement, Apple is a lot closer to fulfilling at least one of those promises.