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In a new interview, Apple's Lisa Jackson says that environmental protection efforts must consider communities that are poor and have no political power.
Apple recently joined the First Movers Coalition, an initiative by the US government and the World Economic Government that aims to improve the environment. Now, in an interview about her work in the field and Apple's aims, Lisa Jackson has told MarketWatch said that all technology companies "have a responsibility" to the whole world.
"On the simplest level, air doesn't stay in one place and water doesn't stay in one place," said Jackson, Apple's Vice President of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives. "You can pollute the air in one community, but you're actually polluting the air we all breathe."
"Climate change is a global problem; it's not a localized issue," she continued. "Water pollution that happens far upstream can have a devastating impact on a community far downstream."
Jackson says that not worrying certain communities "because they're poor and they don't have political power" is ignoring how everything is interconnected.
"The truth of the matter is that we can't have environmental protection unless those communities that are most vulnerable are protected as well," she said. "The sector in general has a role to play in realizing that technology uses energy — and if we don't clean that energy, we are a part of the problem, not the solution."
According to Jackson, Apple has "realized for well over a decade" that it should be investing in clean energy. "It was really big for us to announce last year a 10-year goal to be carbon neutral across all of our suppliers, and for our customers," she said.
"We put these devices in the world, so we know we have a responsibility to help clean grids around the world," she continued. "The tech sector has [been] and will continue to be an incredible benefit to people, but there has to be intentionality to ensure that happens."
Jackson previously served as EPA Administrator in the Obama Administration before joining Apple in 2013. She was recently named one of the 50 most powerful women in 2021, by Fortune magazine.