Apple CEO Tim Cook has confirmed that Lisa Jackson, the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US, is to join the company as its environmental adviser.
Cook made the announcement at the All Things Digital D10 conference in California last night, while he also dismissed suggestions that Apple has a special tax deal in place with the Irish Government.
Cook said Jackson will be co-ordinating environmental efforts at Apple and will be reporting to him.
Jackson, who has a background in chemical engineering, stepped down as EPA chief at the end of 2012 following a four-year term under the Obama administration. Since then, Gina McCarthy has been appointed as the new administrator at the EPA.
In a statement issued last night, Jackson said: "I’m incredibly impressed with Apple’s commitment to the environment and I’m thrilled to be joining the team."
She said Apple had shown how innovation can drive progress by removing toxics from its products and incorporating renewable energy in its data-centre plans.
Apple has come under fire from environmental groups such as Greenpeace for powering its data centres with fossil fuels. In its 2012 How Clean is Your Cloud report, Greenpeace ranked companies such as Amazon, Microsoft and Apple on their renewable energy policies.
Apple has been on a mission to improve its clean-tech credentials. The company claims that around 75pc of energy used at its corporate facilities worldwide come from renewable sources – this compares with 35pc in 2010.
Apple has also stated its goal to power every one of its facilities using renewable sources, including solar, wind, hydro and geothermal.
Its new data centre in Maiden, North Carolina, boasts a 100-acre onsite solar photovoltaic array on land around the data centre.