Apple has begun actively engaging environmental groups in China to discuss concerns over pollution from factories that build Macs, iPhones, iPads and iPods. The groups are concerned that Apple isn’t working hard enough to monitor its partners and ensure that they are protecting the environment and factory workers.
The Beijing-based Institute on Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE) is one of the organizations Apple has been talking with, according to The Industry Standard. The group has already met with Apple twice, and has even spoken with Apple supply chain managers, according to InfoWorld.
China environmental groups call Apple to task
Apple isn’t addressing specific concerns the group raised, although it did commit to maintaining a dialog and to collaborate with IPE representatives.
The group claimed in September that 27 Chinese factories it thinks are linked to Apple have been pumping pollutants, including hazardous waste, into surrounding communities.
IPE leader, Ma Jun, said at the time that Apple has a poor record and has been less responsive than other companies in responding to their investigations. He added that Apple has agreed to discuss their new findings, and now it appears that they have.
Apple spokesman Steve Dowling, commented “Apple is committed to driving the highest standards of social responsibility throughout our supply chain. We require that our supplier provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes wherever Apple products are made.”
IPE managers are optimistic Apple will push the factories it works with to maintain higher environmental standards.
“In the future, we will listen to what they have to say and we will see how they will move forward,” commented IPE vice director Wang Jing Jing. “Our goal is that they will really work to improve the supply chain management.”