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.
Apple says that trees absorb carbon as they grow, with researchers estimating that tropical forests hold more carbon than humanity has emitted over the past 30 years from burning coal, oil, and natural gas, despite ongoing deforestation.
The new partnership aims to unlock the potential of this natural solution by scaling it in a way that makes it attractive to businesses. Conservation International is a co-investor in the fund and will ensure that projects meet strict environmental and social standards. Goldman Sachs is managing the fund. The three parties will identify new projects later this year.
“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,” says Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives.
To ensure that the carbon stored in forests is being accurately quantified and permanently locked out of the atmosphere, the Restore Fund will use robust international standards developed by recognized organizations such as Verra, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the UN Climate Convention. It will also prioritize investments in working forests that improve biodiversity through the creation of buffer zones and natural set-asides.