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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

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

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?