Former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa P. Jackson will become Apple's top environmental officer, the company's CEO Tim Cook announced Tuesday.

Cook, who made the announcement at The Wall Street Journal’s  D: All Things Digital D11 conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., said Jackson will be reporting directly to him and is "going to be coordinating a lot of this activity across the company."

After coming under fire from environmental groups such Greenpeace for powering its data centers with fossil fuel energy, the company vowed to switch over to renewable sources. In March it announced that all of its data centers now run on solar, wind or geothermal energy.

Jackson, who will join the firm as vice president for environmental initiatives, wrote in an e-mail Tuesday, "I'm incredibly impressed with Apple's commitment to the environment and I'm thrilled to be joining the team."

"Apple has shown how innovation can drive real progress by removing toxics from its products, incorporating renewable energy in its data center plans, and continually raising the bar for energy efficiency in the electronics industry," she said. "I look forward to helping support and promote these efforts, as well as leading new ones in the future aimed at protecting the environment."

Cook, who had been grilled by lawmakers this month about his firm's use of tax shelters in Ireland, also discussed Apple's approach to tax policy in the U.S. and the firm's product lines during his remarks.