Tim Cook says businesses need to step up where governments don't

Apple CEO thinks businesses should work for social good

Since taking over from Steve Jobs as CEO, one of the things Tim Cook has brought to Apple is a greater push to address social problems. On Tuesday at the Boxworks conference in San Francisco, Cook said he wants other companies to do the same.

"I think business has a very important responsibility to society," he said. "And that responsibility has grown markedly in the last couple of decades or so, as government has found it more difficult to move forward or get as much done that would please the people."

Apple has taken a few important steps along that road. Cook said the company's U.S. operations are running entirely on renewable energy, and Apple is now focused on getting its supply chain to the same point -- though that could be a challenge given the scale of its factory operations in China. 

Cook has also been an advocate for providing equal rights to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, especially after coming out as gay almost a year ago. Prior to that, in a newspaper editorial, he called for passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would have prohibited employers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Pushing policies that promote equality doesn't cost anything for governments that do it, he said.

"We're focused on equality. And equality is one of those unusual things," Cook said. "Equality is free. There's no cost to it, and so it's not -- this week there's a big budget crisis again and everybody's yelling at each other about money -- but to give people a basic level of human rights and dignity is free. And yet, over 200 years after we said 'all men are created equal,' it's still not the case today." 

While Apple has vigorously fought other companies for copying its products, its an area where Cook would be happy to be mimicked.

Apple isn't the only company in the tech sector that has taken an outspoken stance on social issues. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has been an advocate for philanthropy in his company's home city of San Francisco as part of that firm's outreach efforts.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Apple

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?