Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced two new programs aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of its manufacturing partners in China. The programs will avoid over 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution in the country between now and 2020, equivalent to taking nearly 4 million passenger vehicles off the road for one year.

Apple also announced that construction on 40 megawatts of solar projects in the Sichuan Province is now complete. These solar installations produce more than the total amount of electricity used by Apple’s offices and retail stores in China, making Apple’s operations carbon neutral in China.

“Climate change is one of the great challenges of our time, and the time for action is now,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The transition to a new green economy requires innovation, ambition 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.”

First, Apple is significantly expanding its clean-energy investments in China. Apple plans to build more than 200 megawatts of solar projects in the northern, eastern and southern grid regions of China, which will produce the equivalent of the energy used by more by than 265,000 Chinese homes in a year and will begin to offset the energy used in Apple’s supply chain.

Second, Apple is launching a new initiative to drive its manufacturing partners to become more energy efficient and to use clean energy for their manufacturing operations. Apple will partner with suppliers in China to install more than 2 gigawatts of new clean energy in the coming years.

Apple also will share best practices in procuring clean energy and building high-quality renewable energy projects, and provide hands-on assistance to some suppliers in areas like energy efficiency audits, regulatory guidance and building strong partnerships to bring new clean energy projects to China.

As part of Apple’s industry-leading program, Foxconn will construct 400 megawatts of solar, starting in the Henan Province, by 2018. Foxconn has committed to generate as much clean energy as its Zhengzhou factory consumes in final production of iPhone.

“We are excited to embark on this initiative with Apple. Our companies share a vision for driving sustainability and I hope that this renewable energy project will serve as a catalyst for continued efforts to promote a greener ecosystem in our industry and beyond,” said Terry Gou, founder and CEO of Foxconn Technology Group. “Sustainability is a core pillar in Foxconn’s strategy and we are committed to investing in green manufacturing.”

“Being responsible, protecting air and water, and driving clean energy are at the heart of Apple’s commitment to China,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. “These projects go beyond Apple’s operations in China to help our suppliers adopt clean renewable energy.”

Apple has taken significant steps to protect the environment by transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy. Today the company is powering 100 percent of its operations in China and the US, and more than 87 percent of its worldwide operations, with renewable energy. (Original Source)

Shares of Apple closed yesterday at $113.76. AAPL has a 1-year high of $134.54 and a 1-year low of $92. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $112.28 and its 200-day moving average is $120.96.

On the ratings front, Apple has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released yesterday, UBS analyst Steven Milunovich reiterated a Buy rating on AAPL, with a price target of $150, which implies an upside of 31.9% from current levels. Separately, on the same day, Canaccord Genuity’s Michael Walkley maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $160.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Steven Milunovich and Michael Walkley have a total average return of 2.1% and 17.7% respectively. Milunovich has a success rate of 48.2% and is ranked #1401 out of 3795 analysts, while Walkley has a success rate of 60.9% and is ranked #12.

Overall, one research analyst has rated the stock with a Sell rating, 8 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and 27 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $147.15 which is 29.34% above where the stock closed yesterday.