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Why Apple's 'Better'

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Under CEO Timothy D. Cook, Apple (AAPL - Get Report), perhaps more than any other tech company, strives to not only increase the impact it has on people's lives, but reduce the impact it has on the environment as well.

In a video narrated by Cook, Apple has highlighted some of its green initiatives, including cutting down on materials it uses for packaging, using solar and renewable energy sources and being more environmentally friendly.

Since Cook became CEO full-time in the summer of 2011 after taking over from Steve Jobs, who later died as a result of pancreatic cancer, Apple has been trying to show Silicon Valley, investors, the media and consumers around the globe that it is serious about making the world a better place and cutting down on its carbon footprint.

"At Apple, we strive to reduce our impact on climate change, find ways to use greener materials and conserve resources for future generations," Apple says in the description for the company's video, Better. "This video was shot on location at Apple Facilities. Now more than ever, we will work to leave the world better than we found it."

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In addition to the video narrated by Cook, Apple, ahead of Earth Day, has set up a page detailing all of the progress, initiatives and concerns about climate change and toxins that worry the world today.

With regard to Apple's progress, there is plenty to offer, according to Lisa Jackson, Apple's Vice President of Environmental Initiatives. Prior to joining Apple in late 2013, Jackson was the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 2009 to 2013. Here's Jackson's letter regarding Apple's progress:

At Apple, we believe innovation is about making things better. This simple idea drives us to take action in the face of the very real problem of climate change. We feel the responsibility to consider everything we do in order to reduce our impact on the environment. This means using greener materials and constantly inventing new ways to conserve precious resources.

We aim to create not just the best products in the world, but the best products for the world. We have a long way to go, but we are proud of our progress. For example, every one of our data centers is powered entirely by clean sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal energy. So whenever you download a song, update an app, or ask Siri a question, the energy Apple uses is provided by nature.

Of course, the cleanest energy is the energy you never use. That's why we've reduced the average total power consumed by Apple products by 57 percent since 2008. And each one of our products far exceeds the strict energy efficiency guidelines set by ENERGY STAR.

We've led the industry in removing many harmful toxins from our products, such as PVC, brominated flame retardants, and phthalates. And we've recycled more than 421 million pounds of electronic waste. In fact, every Apple Retail Store will now take back Apple products for free and recycle them responsibly. We believe we must be accountable for every Apple product at every stage of its use.

"Better" means we're never done. We push ourselves every day to develop innovations that reduce our carbon footprint, use cleaner and safer materials, and show that what's good for the planet can also be good for business. At Apple, we continue to put nature at the center of our business and design principles. We promise to keep you updated on our journey.

Lisa Jackson
Vice President of Environmental Initiatives

The company list of green initiatives goes back as far as 2000, when Jobs was still CEO. Included in some of the highlights are: becoming a founding member of the U.S. Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), which introduces energy efficiency requirements for the off mode of computer products (2002); making the MacBook Air the first Mac to use mercury‑free backlight technology with arsenic‑free LCD display glass (2008); introducing the Apple Battery Charger for rechargeable batteries (2010); making sure all Apple products exceed the strict ENERGY STAR guidelines for energy efficiency (2011); and in 2013, using 100% renewable energy at all of its data centers, including a new facility in Reno, Nevada, and 94% renewable energy at corporate campuses.

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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