Apple’s CEO Tim Cook sounds the alarm on climate change by Michael Casey @FortuneMagazine 5:22 PM EDT E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons One day before a major U.N. climate summit, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has warned that the “time for inaction has passed” and called on companies to do more to show the environmental impact of their products. Cook, who earlier this year chided a conservative investor for suggesting Apple AAPL shows the cost of its sustainability efforts, said that such transparency will allow consumers to make better decisions and ultimately drive them to choose those that have “got their act together.” “Companies have to communicate to consumer about what they are selling and they have to do it in a way that incorporate the whole of their footprint not just one piece of it that they are looking good,” Cook said. “If you have enough companies that begin to do this, then consumers will vote with their dollars.” Cook was speaking at the start of Climate Week NYC, a gathering on environmental sustainability. The tech CEO said Apple was doing its part to address environmental concerns including releasing an environmental checklist with each new product that shows they are free of toxins, recyclable and energy efficient. They have also targeted their facilities with a goal of powering their data centers with 100 percent renewables and building the country’s largest private solar farm to supply that power – a facility that produces enough power for 14,000 homes. “People told us it couldn’t be done and that it couldn’t happen, but we did it,” Cook said. “It’s great for the environment, and by the way it’s also good for economics. It’s both.” Cook said the company’s approach is to “look at our whole footprint” which has meant examining the energy it uses after a product is purchased, plus the recycling and manufacturing of that product. Now it’s going after its supply chain. “It’s dirty and detailed work. It’s rolling your sleeves up,” Cook said. “You are getting into level of detail about what are the root causes. You are not accepting that there is a trade off between the economy and the environment. Too many people say you can do this or that. What we found both are doable. If you innovate and set the bar high, you will find a way to do both.” Slapping his hand for emphasis, Cook then said the world “has to do both” because the “long-term consequences of not addressing climate are huge.” Unlike it secretive culture behind its products, Cook said Apple “wanted to be one of the pebbles in the pond that creates the ripple” on climate change and environment more broadly. “If we took that kind of approach to our products, we would never make a great product,” Cook said of choosing economics over environment. When it came to climate change, Cook said he was convinced that the world will eventually act to combat the growing emissions because “no one wants a terrible environment.” “I’m not giving up on our generation,” he said. “The boomer generation, we have to look at ourselves deeply and ask ourselves are we going to be the first generation that leaves the next one worse off. Do you want to be a part of that club? I don’t want to be a part of that. That drives me to push in several areas.” On Monday Apple said it sold over 10 million new iPhones over their first sales weekend, a new record for the gadgets maker and results that exceeded the company’s expectations.