updated 09:07 pm EDT, Wed April 30, 2014
New position will report to Environmental Operations VP Jackson
Apple has quietly announced that it has hired the former Vice President of Renewable Energy and Origination of NV Energy, Bobby Hollis, to be its new Senior Renewable Energy Manager. Hollis, who previously sat on the board of directors for the Solar Electric Power Association, will likely report to Global Energy Program Leader Mike Petouhoff, and work with Apple's head of Environmental Operations, Lisa Jackson. The new hire is part of a concentrated push by Apple to increase its "green" visibility.
Hollis was hired earlier this month, a period that has seen Apple push to publicize its work in environmental reform. The company recently announced that 94 percent of the energy used for its data centers and corporate buildings now comes from renewable sources, and is planning a push to do the same for its retail stores over time.
Just ahead of Earth Day, Apple launched a short video that promoted its environmental moves and aspirations, and sent Jackson to various cable and network shows to promote the company's efforts at improving its environmental standing. The domestic effort comes on top of various initiatives to improve its environmental handling of suppliers, delivery, packaging and recycling, the latter including a recently-announced uniform global recycling plan for all of its retail stores.
Environmental groups such as Greenpeace have taken note of the reforms led by CEO Tim Cook, and now refer to Apple as the "most improved" technology company when it comes to sustainable manufacturing. This comes just a couple of years after the organization protested the original plan for the Maiden, North Carolina data center, saying it would have to depend on "dirty" coal- and nuclear-based energy from Duke Power. In fact, the data center uses 100 percent renewable sources for energy -- a mix of its large solar farm, bio-gas generators and purchased energy from renewable sources such as wind farms.
In a segment on the Maiden facility that aired on NBC's Today show, a reporter observes that Apple is setting a standard by which customers can judge other technology companies (most of whom, to be fair, do already get at least some portion of their data center power from renewable sources). "If [Apple] can get all the power they need from renewable sources," he said, "that is a green light for the rest of us to say 'why don't we do that for other things?'"