Apple is carrying out several programs in China that would promote the use of clean energy in an attempt to address the energy consumption coming from the company's supply chain.

According to Apple, the programs will aid in preventing 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gases from being released as pollution into China's atmosphere until the year 2020. This figure is equivalent to taking out 4 million vehicles from roads for a whole year.

Apple also said that it has completed the construction of solar projects worth 40 megawatts in China's Sichuan province. The company has also ensured that all of the retail stores and offices of the company in China are carbon neutral.

Apple CEO Tim Cook pointed out how moving to a green economy is proving to be a challenging task, but it is a necessary one.

"Climate change is one of the great challenges of our time, and the time for action is now," Cook said, adding that the transition to a green economy would need a combination of ambition, innovation and purpose.

"We believe passionately in leaving the world better than we found it and hope that many other suppliers, partners and other companies join us in this important effort," Cook added, urging other corporations to join Apple in the movement.

In fact, Apple said that it is starting to work on projects with its suppliers to increase their energy efficiency and for them to become carbon neutral.

Apple said that it will be building more solar projects worth over 200 megawatts in China's northern, eastern and southern grid regions, which will collectively generate energy that is equivalent to the requirement of 265,000 homes. These solar projects will also offset the energy being used by the supply chain of Apple in China.

Apple is looking to install over 2 gigawatts' worth of solar power projects in the coming years, with the company also assisting its suppliers in areas such as audits for energy efficiency and meeting regulatory guidance. This goal will be pushed forward by supplier Foxconn, which will build 400 megawatts' worth of solar energy by 2018.

Apple says that its efforts are currently going beyond what others have done so far in terms of improvements in the supply chain. Former critics of the company have admitted that Apple is making significant progress, with environmental group Greenpeace giving Apple high marks for its efforts in promoting clean energy.

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