When Lisa Jackson took the stage at Apple’s annual iPhone reveal in September, arguably the company’s most important moment of the year, she wasn’t there to discuss the new technologies in the iPhone Xs like other Apple executives who spoke during the company’s keynote.
Rather, as Apple’s vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives, she highlighted an often less-publicized quality of Apple’s latest smartphones: the recycled materials used to create components like the main logic board and speaker enclosure. It was a sign of progress in what might be one of Apple’s most daunting and ambitious goals yet — eliminating the need to mine new materials from the earth to create new products. It’s an initiative that requires Apple to re-think many critical elements of its product life cycle, from supply chain logistics to what happens to worn-down devices that are no longer fit for use.
“It’s a big goal, it’s a long-term goal,” Jackson, who was recently named one of Business Insider’s 100 people transforming the world of business, said in a recent interview with Business Insider. “It’s meant to sort of put a North Star out there for all of us within the company to follow.”