Apple has already been making its offices and data centers more environmentally friendly, but wants to extend those efforts to its suppliers in China, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. Although the transition to more greener manufacturing will take years, Cook said it is important work that needs to be done.
In China, Many Apple products, including the iPhone and iPad, are assembled in large factories run by Foxconn Technology Group and by other large contract manufacturers.
In the past, however, Apple has come under criticism for failing to monitor the labor and environmental conditions at its suppliers. In 2011, a Chinese environmental group accused alleged Apple suppliers of discharging harmful waste and gas.
Apple didn't mention how it would make its supply chain more green. But to keep its suppliers in line, the company already conducts routine audits of its manufacturers. These investigations have focused on finding and correcting any environmental violations. Last year, the company worked with the manufacturers to reduce water use and prevent water pollution.
On Monday, Apple also said its goal was to make 100 percent of its global operations run on renewable energy. Currently that figure is at 87 percent.
Three weeks ago, Apple launched its first major solar power project in China, which will span two 20-megawatt solar farms. Chinese companies are partnering with Apple on the project, which will be completed at year's end.
The energy from solar farms will be more than enough to power all of Apple's offices and retail stores in the country, the company said.