Apple launches $200 million fund for climate change

Apple has created a $200 million fund to invest in forestry projects to help remove carbon from the atmosphere while also generating financial returns for its investors, the company said Thursday. The Restore Fund will invest in forest properties that are managed to increase carbon removal and produce timber. The goal is to remove 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually from the atmosphere.

Apple said last year it wants to eliminate its contributions to climate change and become carbon neutral by 2030. The company says it will directly eliminate 75 percent of emissions from its supply chain and products by 2030, and the Restore Fund will help address the other 25 percent of its emissions. Apple’s partners in the Restore Fund include the nonprofit Conservation International and the Goldman Sachs group which will manage the fund.

“Through creating a fund that generates both a financial return as well as real, and measurable carbon impacts, we aim to drive broader change in the future — encouraging investment in carbon removal around the globe,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives, said in a statement. “Our hope is that others share our goals and contribute their resources to support and protect critical ecosystems.”

Apple said it will work with organizations such as the Forest Stewardship Council and Verra to help determine the projects in which it will invest. The company didn’t say what the fund’s target returns would be but said it would “unlock the potential of this natural solutions by scaling it in a way that makes it attractive to businesses.”

There’s some controversy around the strategy of using forests as a way of offsetting greenhouse emissions. The World Economic Forum launched an initiative last year to plant a trillion trees to cut emissions. But its effort cited a study that greatly overestimated the impact such an effort would have on the environment, researchers later found.