Jackson asserts that Apple is absorbing the climate costs instead of passing them on to users

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Lisa Jackson

Apple’s Lisa Jackson says that buyers do not pay an Apple tax in order to fund the company’s work fighting climate change and making its products greener.

While some reports say Apple’s environmental efforts far exceed those of its rivals, others accuse the firm of “greenwashing” its figures to look better. Apple itself is calling on its suppliers to decarbonize by 2030, and now it is saying that this work does not make its iPhone more expensive.

“We don’t factor in a premium to take care of the work that we’re doing,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, told Reuters.

“I want to do it in a way that other businesses can say this isn’t because they’re Apple,” she said. “It’s because they understand how to make clean energy and (recyclable) materials work in the manufacturing chains and drive emissions down.”

But Jackson, while praising the 78% reduction in its carbon footprint for the Apple Watch, notes that beyond buying carbon offsets, the firm still can’t reduce what Reuters calls almost 8 kilograms of emissions from each device including transportation and logistical considerations.

“We just right now don’t have the ability to take care” of that, says Jackson. But she does see Apple making an increasing impact. “That’s somewhere Apple can invest and then help to scale and bring (other) businesses along.”

Speaking at the Reuters Next Conference in New York, Jackson also talked about the practical difficulties of moving to carbon-neutral devices.

“Even making the windmills to generate renewable energy has a carbon footprint,” she said, “and so you have to account for that.”

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