If you want to invest in the future of Apple, you better have a stake in the future of the planet.
That’s the message Apple CEO Tim Cook sent on Friday at Apple’s annual shareholders’ meeting, after a conservative think tank, the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), derided the company for hiring former Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson and focusing on sustainability efforts. Prior to the meeting, NCPPR released a statement saying that government-imposed environmental standards could be bad for business, and Apple should be doing more to fight them.
“We do a lot of things for reasons besides profit motive,” Cook said of the NCPPR’s call, according to Mashable. “We want to leave the world better than we found it.”
He then advised, “If you want me to do things only for [return on investment] reasons, you should get out of this stock.”
After the meeting, NCPPR released a statement saying, “After today’s meeting, investors can be certain that Apple is wasting untold amounts of shareholder money to combat so-called climate change. The only remaining question is: how much?”
While some company CEOs have opted to leave climate change up to God, Apple has taken action. Under the leadership of Cook, the company has massively increased its use of renewable energy over fossil fuels. By Apple’s own count, it increased its use of renewables from 35 percent in 2010 to 75 percent worldwide . The company aims to up that number to 100 percent. To that end, last year Apple announced it would build one of the world’s largest solar arrays. And while NCPPR thinks that’s all bad news for stakeholders, the numbers say otherwise: The project is projected generate about $11 million in annual revenue, and to add 7,400 jobs in Cupertino, California.