Apple, after getting hit with criticism for using dirty energy at its data centers, has been increasingly drawing on green power — wind, solar, geothermal, and, now, former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced Tuesday that Jackson, who served as Barack Obama’s top environmental official during his first term, will join the company as vice president for environmental initiatives.
Cook, who made the announcement at The Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital D11 conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., said Jackson will be reporting directly to him and is “going to be coordinating a lot of this activity across the company.”
After coming under fire from environmental groups such Greenpeace for powering its data centers with fossil fuel energy, the company vowed to switch over to renewable sources. In March it announced that all of its data centers now run on solar, wind or geothermal energy.
Jackson said in an email that she is “incredibly impressed” with Apple’s green tinge:
“Apple has shown how innovation can drive real progress by removing toxics from its products, incorporating renewable energy in its data center plans, and continually raising the bar for energy efficiency in the electronics industry,” she said. “I look forward to helping support and promote these efforts, as well as leading new ones in the future aimed at protecting the environment.”
Maybe Jackson can help the company avoid stumbles like it had last year when it withdrew from a green electronics certification program, got roundly bashed, then did a quick about-face and rejoined the program.
Read a Grist interview with Jackson from last year.