Heard on Campus: Lisa Jackson, VP of environmental initiatives at Apple

November 06, 2014

"Sustainability isn't limited to technology. At Apple, we believe that innovation takes place at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts. You can be a practitioner of sustainability in many ways. What connects us is our passion."

-- Lisa Jackson, vice president of environmental initiatives at Apple Inc. and former administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, spoke at University Park's Schwab Auditorium on Nov. 6 for the 2014 Colloquium on the Environment, sponsored by the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment (PSIEE), Sustainability Institute and Office of Physical Plant. 

"As I transitioned from the public sector at the EPA to the private sector at Apple, I stopped asking 'What's required?' and started asking 'What's possible?' At Apple, we have the power of scale. Innovation is a competitive advantage, and I believe we can use our corporate power to do public good."

"The private sector can be a public servant. As you enter your careers, bring your principles with you, and make a difference where you are."

"Never underestimate the power of one person's desire to make a change. My father was a postman and my mother was a secretary. They wanted me to be a doctor, but I wanted to be an engineer. It came from a personal place. I wanted to do something to make things get better. I didn't want to be the chemical engineer that made the mess. I wanted to be the one who cleans it up." 

"Challenge the idea that there are no win-wins."

"We have a chance to fire up innovation. We have a chance to leave things better than we find them."

Lisa Jackson-11 6 14-EcoCAR

Lisa Jackson, vice president of environmental initiatives at Apple Inc., examined the engine of the Penn State EcoCAR with EcoCAR project manager Ben Sattler prior to her keynote speech at Schwab Auditorium on the evening of Nov. 6.

IMAGE: Patrick Mansell

"I'm so impressed with what Penn State is already doing around sustainability. You have more than 400 faculty engaged in sustainability research. More than 88 percent of you walk, bike or bus to work. You've reduced your greenhouse gas emissions by 18 percent since 2005 and your water consumption by 15 percent. A lot of this has happened on the operations side. I'm amazed at what OPP has achieved here in terms of conservation and efficiency. Thank them for it, but challenge them to do more."


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Last Updated June 18, 2021