Lisa Jackson has a big job. As Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Issues, her role is rooted in making the world a better place - and she has some big goals in mind. As well as making Apple completely carbon neutral by 2030, Lisa also runs the racial equity and justice initiative to improve lives - and has created major opportunities in Apple’s Community Education Program. But is it all too much for one person?
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"We have a team of very wonderful people," Lisa laughs. "We actually keep a pretty small team because we really believe a lot of the work has to be the work of the people all over Apple, so when we work on environmental improvements like in our hardware, we just announced this past Earth Day that we're up to twenty per cent recycled content in our devices. That didn't happen because of my team, that happened because of the product engineering In teams and the materials teams, we work closely with them to help them push the boundaries of what's possible.
WATCH: Lisa Jackson talks Apple's 2030 goal
"So, I always tell people, it's my honour to lead it but there are people all over Apple who are motivated and inspired by their work."
As one of the biggest companies in the world, Apple’s leaders are well aware of the importance their contribution has to the vital protection of the planet.
"We're already carbon neutral and I think that is a huge accomplishment for a company that touches both hardware and software data centres," Lisa explains. "But now it's the 2030 goal. We challenged ourselves and the company to come up with the most aggressive goal to bring our supply chain and our products to 100% carbon neutral and it’s 2030 - when we first came up with the number we were like, 'We’re crazy!' But there’s a history of being crazy at Apple!
"The other thing we challenge ourselves on is the kind of innovation that people expect in our products we want them to see that in our environment work. So the 2030 goal is based on a lot of innovation that we're driving inside the company and even outside the company. So it feels very true to who we are as a company."
Lisa admits that the climate crisis is a concern for her on a personal level - but that this should motivate people to action. "Concern can do one of two things, right?" She asks. "It can paralyse you in place or it can motivate you to action and in this case leadership. It's a source of pride for employees that Apple that we're taking our innovation and applying it to probably the biggest crisis that the planet as a whole faces.
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"It motivates everyone like, 'I have to do something,' and because of who Apple is, we are such we make tools to help individuals do what they want to do. So we're also very cognizant that you have to work at almost a community level person by person."
She continued: "The number one thing anyone can do is the be part of the recycling economy. It's a big part of our products, the whole trade-in program, the idea of recycled material use and getting our products back so we can get that material back into the circular economy."
You can recycle any Apple device within the store, which is the best way of disposing of your device as vital items from devices can be recycled. Lisa explained: "There're recycling options. So first is part of the natural part of making you a choice for the next device so you can trade in or bring in your device and the wonderful thing about that is if you have access and can do it in person, we can make sure it's wiped, that your data is no longer on it that from a privacy and security standpoint. That's always a huge priority for us.
"But if you can't we can send you the instructions to make sure you do it yourself and you can mail it back to Apple. In Europe you have access to some recycling programs, so there're a bunch of options, but we prefer to come back to us because all generations of iPhone, I think we're up to 23 different models can go through [our systems] so we can find a way to get those materials back."
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