epa head

Apple has long been criticized by environmental organizations for its lack of effort to reduce its carbon footprint. The criticism got so bad at one point, that Steve Jobs himself felt that it was necessary to address the topic via an open letter on Apple’s website.

But things have changed a lot since Jobs’ infamous ‘A Greener Apple’ post. The company has taken several steps to become more environmentally-friendly, including constructing large solar farms, and apparently hiring the former administrator of the EPA…

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook revealed the hiring during an hour-long interview last night at the D11 conference. Her name is Lisa P. Jackson, and she was the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from 2009 until February of this year.

Jackson was appointed to the position by president-elect Barack Obama. And after serving 3 years in the role, she announced plans to step down in late 2012 after it was discovered that she was conducting EPA business using a private email address.

Nevertheless, it’s a win for Apple. Cook says she’ll be reporting directly to him, and oversee the iPhone-maker’s green initiatives, such as projects like the massive solar and fuel cell farm it has constructed outside of its Maiden, North Carolina data center.