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Apple hires former EPA chief Lisa Jackson to coordinate environmental policy

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lisa jackson (official)
lisa jackson (official)

Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage at All Things D’s D11 conference today, touching on a variety of issues, from wearable electronics and iOS 7 to Apple's tax headaches in the US. One big announcement was the appointment of Lisa Jackson, the former head of the EPA, to head up Apple's environmental responsibility efforts. Cook announced that Jackson would be reporting directly to him in her new role. "Lisa Jackson is joining Apple. Lisa was running the EPA for the last four years," said Cook, as he discussed initiatives like Apple's renewable energy-powered data center in North Carolina. "She's going to be coordinating a lot of this activity across the company," he added.

Jackson served as head of the EPA since 2009, after being appointed to the job by president-elect Barack Obama. Serving nearly four years in that role, she announced plans to step down in late 2012 after it was discovered that she was conducting EPA business using a private email address. Jackson scored some big successes during her tenure, including getting carbon dioxide and other chemicals listed as pollutants in the Clean Air Act, but a proposal for smog legislation that she spearheaded was shot down in 2011 owing to weak economic growth.

"She'll fit right in with our culture."

In recent years, Apple has been focused on its environmental performance, issuing regular responsibility reports to highlight its progress, but it has been criticized by EPEAT and others for decisions that prioritize tightly integrated product designs over repairability. In her new role at Apple, Jackson will be helping to steer its environmental policy, and while the job will be quite different from what she was doing in Washington, Cook is positive that she's a good match a good match for the company. "She'll fit right in with our culture," said Cook.