Apple’s ‘green guru’ reports worse carbon footprint on same day she releases ‘Better’ video


Lisa Jackson was in the room with President Barack Obama as the full destruction of the 2010 BP oil spill became apparent. Now, in the first report since the former chief of the Environmental Protection Agency took over as Apple’s vice-president of environmental initiatives the computer behemoth has reported a worse carbon footprint. And that’s actually a good thing.

In the report published today, the company’s carbon footprint increased 9 percent year over year, 2012 to 2013.

It turns out that before Jackson took over at Apple, its accounting of environmental impact ratings showed four times fewer emissions than what was actually associated with manufacturing, something the company has since remedied.

“Had we not changed our methodology, our emissions would have dropped 10 percent,” according to the report.

Jackson, who served four years as EPA administrator, took over at Apple last October amid the company’s renewed efforts to lower its carbon footprint.

H. Scott Matthews, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, told me in an email today that Apple includes the carbon impact of those who use their products in their calculations and that the carbon impact of their own facilities means almost nothing.

“I wouldn’t view their footprint getting bigger as an indictment on their activities,” wrote Matthews. “I don’t know of any of their peers that has made such substantial investments in renewable energy in the hopes of even partially offsetting the footprint.”

In spite of the efforts the company still has a long way to go. Even if Apple reported the 10 percent decrease the reports says it achieved if not for the stricter accounting measures, the company’s carbon footprint would have increased by 200 percent since 2009, the first year Steve Jobs publicly revealed its imprint: 10.2 million metric tons of carbon emissions.

“We have a long way to go,” Jackson wrote in a statement published today. “But we are proud of our progress.”


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Date / Fecha: 20/04/14

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