Apple’s Lisa Jackson says the EPA hasn’t changed, leadership has changed

Apple’s Vice President Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson has a lot to say about the Environmental Protection Agency. She served as the administrator of the EPA during Obama’s first term, and she now thinks Donald Trump’s administration is causing a great threat to the agency.

“The Environmental Protection Agency is, to me, an extension of the Department of Defense,” she said. “It protects something really important in this country, which is a huge competitive advantage. We have clean air to breathe, water to drink and land to develop and build on.”

“And I just have to say the EPA hasn’t changed. There’s a leadership change, which is beyond politics in my mind. The EPA has been run by Democrats, by Republicans, but has never, in its history that is 40+ years old, been run by someone who seems to be determined to do the one thing that could destroy its credibility, which is not making it transparent.”

Jackson didn’t stop there. She also thinks that it’s important to let the EPA do its job and protect everybody’s health. It is not the case right now.

“Every EPA administrator has committed to regulate transparently. We don’t have that commitment anymore. It’s not the EPA, it’s that the leadership has decided to move away from the transparency that assures people that their health and their community come first rather than somebody else’s bottom line.”

Jackson then talked about Apple more specifically. Many people think you have to choose between repairing and replacing a device. “I don’t think you can say repairability equals longevity,” she said. Instead, she thinks Apple should focus on building durable products. By focusing on durability, you can minimize both repairs and replacements.

In fact, Apple is aware that many products have two or three different owners over their life cycle. That’s why Apple looks at those life cycles as units of environmental impact.

“What’s the life cycle’s impact on climate change? What’s the life cycle’s impact on resources?” Jackson said.

Jackson also added that Apple committed to using resources in a circular system. “I think there’s a business opportunity for people who are willing to rethink recycling,” she said. “There’s incentive to you to get those resources back and work on re-using them.”

“We’re looking at rare earths and other materials. You know there’s 100+ materials in an iPhone. We want to figure out how to move those back into the chain.”

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