Apple's VP of environment, policy, and social initiatives, Lisa Jackson, says we can't have environmental protection for the planet without protecting the most vulnerable communities in society.
Speaking to MarketWatch Jackson said:
On the simplest level, air doesn't stay in one place and water doesn't stay in one place. You can pollute the air in one community, but you're actually polluting the air we all breathe. Climate change is a global problem; it's not a localized issue. Water pollution that happens far upstream can have a devastating impact on a community far downstream.
She went on to say "We may think that it is OK to write off or not worry about certain communities because they're poor and they don't have political power. The truth of the matter is that we can't have environmental protection unless those communities that are most vulnerable are protected as well."
In the interview, Jackson spoke about the link between pollution and susceptibility to COVID-19, and said: "there's a system of systemic levers that are not working in the right direction for many communities, and certainly communities of color."
She spoke about the new Impact Accelerator Program for Black and Latinx businesses, saying the company asked "can Apple use any of its skill in growing and scaling companies to help grow and scale more companies that are Black and brown-owned in the green-energy and clean economy?"
She also spoke about the opportunities of green energy and how it could unlock jobs in communities that need them. You can read the full interview here.