Among Apple’s more recent social good initiatives is the Impact Accelerator, an effort launched about a year ago intended to find and elevate minority-owned small businesses taking on sustainability and climate change. The program now has its first 15 participants, gathered from all over the country for a three-month program and a shot at an Apple contract.
The Impact Accelerator is part of the company’s $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, which is being divided between a number of efforts, some directly funding existing programs, some going to venture firms owned by people of color, and generally whatever the Initiative’s team thinks is a good investment.
These companies will take part in a three-month-long virtual program (the details are not discussed in Apple’s announcement post) and then will have the opportunity to become suppliers for Apple’s carbon neutral supply chain goals.
Apple profiles all 15 companies in this list, but here are five that caught my eye:
- Volt Energy Utility (Co-founder: Gilbert Campbell III) — Developer of utility-scale solar projects with a focus on underserved communities.
- Bench-Tek (Founder: Maria Castellon) — A manufacturer of lab benches that focuses on using environmentally friendly materials.
- Vericool (Founder: Darrell Jobe) — Aims to make sustainable alternatives to Styrofoam and other packaging products, and makes a point of hiring formerly incarcerated folks.
- Oceti Sakowin Power Authority (Chairman: Lyle Jack) — Not a company per se, but an NGO formed by six Sioux tribes dedicated to developing renewable energy in the Midwest and on reservations.
- Mosaic Global Transportation (Founder: Maurice H. Brewster) — Supplies employee and event shuttles and other vehicles with an aim to replace gas-operated ones with EVs.
“The businesses we’re partnering with today are poised to become tomorrow’s diverse and innovative industry leaders, creating ripples of change to help communities everywhere adapt to the urgent challenges posed by climate change,” said Apple’s VP of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives, Lisa Jackson, in the announcement.