Apple's Lisa Jackson talks environmental regulations, global carbon footprint at WSJ conference

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 2015
Apple's head of environmental efforts, Lisa Jackson, addressed a variety of issues, including the company's relationship with federal regulators and its global carbon footprint, in a new interview.




Jackson spoke at Wall Street Journal's "Eco:nomics" conference last week, and addressed a question on whether federal politics are becoming more or less important to Apple. In response, she said that while "in no way" does she want Washington to believe it isn't relevant to the company, Apple "owes something back" in the form of applying its innovation to clean energy and resource efficiency.

Jackson also argued that a private sector example makes it easier for federal policy makers to believe it's possible to be profitable while still being environmentally responsible.

She did however suggest she feels regulations are "constraining innovation" in some respects, using the example of removable batteries. The batteries in most Apple products are non-removable, which makes the devices harder to reuse, and the batteries more difficult to recycle.

"Our products get smaller and smaller and smaller. There's a huge efficiency of resources there. So before you tell me that we need to be able to remove a battery or you decide what makes sense in terms of how we build our products, let's understand the life-cycle impact," she said.

On the topic of Apple's carbon footprint, Jackson asserted that with the company's First Solar deal, all of its US facilities will be fully powered by renewable energy. Ball observed that Apple's US operations account for just 2 percent of its carbon footprint, but Jackson countered by saying that 70 percent of the company's footprint is linked to "facilities that don't have the Apple logo outside," and that another 22 percent is generated by customers.

"We take responsibility for that because one, we can drive the number pretty well with energy efficiency," she claimed, touting the new 12-inch MacBook as the "most efficient" notebook available. "When we make a change like that and then we sell hundreds of millions of product, that actually adds up." The second reason is that Apple believes it's the "right thing to do," according to Jackson, since people buying a device are inherently contributing to carbon emissions.

Jackson admitted that in the last 10 years, Apple has had little influence on the 70 percent of its footprint outside its direct control. This includes manufacturers and suppliers, some of whom are scattered across the world in countries such as China, Japan, and Indonesia.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member

    My name is Lisa... "Miss Jackson" if you're environmentally nasty.

  • Reply 2 of 8
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,418member

    "She did however suggest she feels regulations are "constraining innovation" in some respects..."

     

    I prefer to think that intelligent regulations channel innovation intelligently.

  • Reply 3 of 8
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by boredumb View Post

     

    "She did however suggest she feels regulations are "constraining innovation" in some respects..."

     

    I prefer to think that intelligent regulations channel innovation intelligently.


    There's an oxymoron.

  • Reply 4 of 8
    "She did however suggest she feels regulations are "constraining innovation" in some respects, using the example of removable batteries. The batteries in most Apple products are non-removable, which makes the devices harder to reuse, and the batteries more difficult to recycle."

    Yup. Is 'difficult' becoming easier to ascribe to Macs?

    One thing I find I am scratching my head over is claims of sustainability with annual MacOS 'upgrade' cycles ie: 1 year active support and mere 3 year 'extended' support that seems to apply to security and printer updates only...?

    By way of example I have a perfectly good HP DesignJet plotter I paid $2000 for and was shipping actively in 2007. It is only on its 3rd set of cartridges as it is infrequently used - much work being digital now. I finally was essentially forced to upgrade from trusty Snow Leopard this year due to sunsets for 'innovation' in core software applications, and the MacMare began...

    This massive plotter that is in mint condition and perfectly mechanically functional has no drivers past Mountain Lion for MacOS? Is it now disposable? Must I forgo software innovation to use a substantial investment both financially & in embodied energy in this beautiful, functional plotter?

    Must I choose between a new (more energy efficient) Mac & my plotter?

    Ironically it has Windows drivers for W7/8, so by the Microsoft website policy this plotter should be perfectly functional and supported for another decade or so (2023 ) in Windows, but is already obsolete for Macs? Windows 7pro also has support for XP, so if Windows 10pro presumably has some kind of legacy support for Windows 8, this may be good for well longer than a decade more in what was past described as 'Plug & Pray' environment...???

    Should 'Plug & Pray' now describe MacOS?

    How is MacOS "sustainable" with this kind of driver upgrade pressure not unreasonably prompting short term driver support sunsets & associated hardware obsolescence...?

    This seems a real problem on many, many levels...?

    I can assure you it feels like a very, very crappy user experience, and has cost me countless hours of 'inefficiency'...
  • Reply 5 of 8
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,418member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by boredumb View Post

     

    "She did however suggest she feels regulations are "constraining innovation" in some respects..."

     

    I prefer to think that intelligent regulations channel innovation intelligently.


    There's an oxymoron.


    ...only when morons write the regs;)

  • Reply 6 of 8
    "
    I can assure you it feels like a very, very crappy user experience, and has cost me countless hours of 'inefficiency'...

    Wasn't that HP's decision to not support the latest MAC OS with a driver update for this model plotter?
  • Reply 7 of 8

    ...well ultimately yes HP must have decided to stop updating the driver, however I can actually understand that, given Apple's tendency (I have yet to find an official lifecycle policy statement) to not support anything older than what hardware ships with, and to leave all options open, perhaps in the name of innovation...

     

    Wikipedia lists Mavericks support as: OS X Mavericks - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia










    Support status
    Security updates and printer drivers only. Mainstream support ended as of September 17, 2014. Extended support ends in 2016

     

    Windows is very forthcoming & googles right up and so all concerned can actually plan ahead, as well as load older OS onto new hardware, and the OS update cycles seem to be 3 years, with legacy access considered...

     

    Windows lifecycle fact sheet - Windows Help  http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/lifecycle

     

    Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy FAQ  https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/gp/lifepolicy

     

    And many organizations are paying for extended dedicated XP support: 

    Windows XP support will be available after April 8—just not for you | PCWorld

    IRS tastes its own medicine, will pay Microsoft millions for Windows XP support

    UK government pays Microsoft £5.5m to extend Windows XP support | Technology | The Guardian

    Dutch government pays millions to extend Microsoft XP support | ZDNet

     

    The loss of Rosetta was what kept many on Snow Leopard as long as I was, and W7pro with XP support may be somewhat equivalent - yet offering potential compatibility from 2001~2020 or beyond (TWO decades?) in the hands of the user... I have Parallels running both W7pro AND Snow Server, but it does not work reliably, especially printing through the mac porting & drivers.

     

    I have yet to upgrade any hardware since 2010, as nothing I can buy new from Apple will boot an older OS. One CAN buy a refurb with Applecare, and if one can find an old install disk it can usually be loaded, but Apple made it clear to me that Applecare assistance would not support anything but the shipping OS or newer...

     

    This seems the one area where Apple could really improve sustainability - the embodied energy of not only the hardware but the peripheral updates & the footprint of blood, sweat & tears keeping up with all of it is to me seems substantial...?

  • Reply 8 of 8
    mactacmactac Posts: 315member

    "We are working hard at cutting down trees that grow faster with more CO2 so that we can install solar panels.

    Solar panels that are conveniently made in China where it is easier to make them because the environmental regulations in China are lower than the rest of the world."

     

    "These actions make Apple environmentally friendly."

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