Tim Cook: Ex-EPA chief Lisa Jackson joining Apple to lead environmental efforts

Tim Cook: Ex-EPA chief Lisa Jackson joining Apple to lead environmental efforts

Today at the D11 conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that ex-EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson would be joining Apple to head up its environmental efforts.

Jackson, who will report into Cook directly, will be charged with heading up Apple’s greentech and energy efficiency projects, which include solar, biofuels and more. She joined the EPA in 1987, and was appointed as Administrator in 2009. President Obama designated the 51-year-old as the nominee for Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in 2008, and she went on to became the first person of African American descent to hold the position.

In addition to its efforts working on greentech, Apple’s environmental team has been dealing with managing a supply chain, and all the associated issues that come with that, in China.

Last year, Cook said the company was doing a lot more about its worker conditions, and would continue to do so, in the wake of undercover reports from Foxconn and speculation of poor conditions that workers were enduring. As of January this year, its supply chain hit a new high of 99 percent 60-hour work week compliance.

Cook himself visited China last year — becoming the first serving Apple CEO to do so — in a trip that saw him meet with high-level Chinese officials and representatives of manufacturing partners such as Foxconn.

In addition to much publicized reports into the conditions within its China-based supply chain, Apple has also worked with environmental groups to audit the pollution output of its partners in the country.

Jackson has a wealth of experience in environmental positions. In 2002, following a 16-year career at the EPA, Jackson joined the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection where she was involved in compliance and enforcement, as well as land use management, before going on to become New Jersey’s Commissioner of Environmental Protection in 2006.

Jackson time with the EPA closed out ahead of time following a scandal in which she was found to have conducted private EPA business under a false name — ‘Richard Windsor’.

The announcement of Jackson’s appointment followed Cook touting Apple’s solar farms and other green initiatives.

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