Apple criticised for China pollution

2011-08-31 21:32

Beijing - Chinese environmental groups accused Apple of turning a blind eye as its suppliers pollute the country, the latest criticism of the technology company's environmental record.

Toxic discharges from "suspected Apple suppliers" have been encroaching on local communities and environments, a coalition of environmental organisations said on Wednesday in a 46-page report alleging efforts to conceal pollution.

Widespread environmental degradation has accompanied China's breakneck economic growth, and the government has been criticised for failing to take steps to curb pollution.

"The large volume of discharge in Apple's supply chain greatly endangers the public's health and safety," said the report, issued on the website of the Beijing-based Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs .

The report alleges that 27 suspected Apple suppliers had severe pollution problems, from toxic gases to heavy metal sludge. In one case, the report said, a nearby village experienced a "phenomenal rise in cases of cancer".

Apple has decided to "take advantage of loopholes" in developing countries' environmental management systems to "grab super profits", it said.

Apple does not disclose who its suppliers are. The environmental groups said public documents and five months of research and field investigation led to the findings in the report.

"A large number of IT supplier violation records have already been publicised; however, Apple chooses not to face such information and continues to use these companies as suppliers. This can only be seen as a deliberate refusal of responsibility," the report said.

Chemical poisoning

This is not the first time Apple has been targeted for environmental infractions and its secretive supply chain management in Chinese factories, where it assembles most of its products.

In January, several of the same non-governmental organisations issued a report alleging woeful environmental records for the iPad and iPhone maker's China-based contract manufacturers.

In February, workers at a Taiwanese-owned factory in eastern China making touch screens on contract for Apple aired their grievances over a chemical poisoning after using N-Hexane, a toxic solvent.

Apple says it maintains a rigorous auditing regime and all its suppliers are monitored and investigated regularly.

"Apple is committed to driving the highest standards of social responsibility throughout our supply base," Apple spokesperson Carolyn Wu told Reuters.

"We require that our suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes wherever Apple products are made," she said.

Apple is not alone in drawing criticism from environmental groups. Some of the world's leading brands rely on Chinese suppliers that pollute the country's environment with chemicals banned in Europe and elsewhere.

Many Western multinationals - including toymaker Mattel, which suffered a toxic lead paint scandal in 2007 - have struggled to regulate product quality across scores of suppliers in knotted Chinese supply chains.

Environmental degradation has emerged as one of the most potent fault lines in Chinese society.

Beijing has repeatedly promised to clean up its stressed environment. But it often fails to match that rhetoric with the resources and political will to enforce its mandates, as local officials put growth, revenue and jobs ahead of environmental protection.

Read more on:    apple  |  china  |  environment  |  pollution
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.