Apple does not charge more to account for its carbon reduction efforts in its consumer technology products, said Lisa Jackson, the vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiative, during the Reuters NEXT conference in New York on Nov. 8. “We don’t factor in a premium to take care of the work that we’re doing."
Jackson said that Apple, with a market capitalization of approximately $2.8 trillion, making it the most valuable publicly traded company globally, hopes to show a way forward that can apply to other businesses.
(Photo: Trac Vu on Unsplash)
Apple CEO Tim Cook has set the tone, according to Jackson. "I want to do it in a way that other businesses can say this isn't because they’re Apple," she said. "It's because they understand how to make clean energy and recyclable materials work in the manufacturing chains and drive emissions down."
Apple has been at the forefront among large U.S. firms in pushing for stricter public environmental policies. In September, it endorsed legislation in California that require companies to report on their greenhouse gas emissions, even though some state trade groups opposed the idea.
Under the leadership of Jackson, formerly the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Apple was also an early supporter of federal regulations to require companies to disclose emissions from their value chains.
Many other executives from large U.S. companies against the idea, which has not been finalized by securities regulators. Critics say it is easier for a tech company like Apple to meet such goals than it would be for firms in more energy-intensive industries.
Jackson also nodded at the challenges of figuring out and reporting supply-chain details. "Even making the windmills to generate renewable energy has a carbon footprint, and so you have to account for that," she said.
For a recent model of Apple Watch, Apple has cut 78% of its carbon footprint but not some 8 kilograms of emissions for each device. "We just right now don't have the ability to take care" of that, which includes the environmental impact of transportation and logistics.
She also mentioned that Apple is working with smaller processing companies to recycle rare earths and other materials. "That's somewhere Apple can invest and then help to scale and bring other businesses along," she explained.