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Apple Partners with Chinese Environmental Group for Supplier Audit

While Apple has received much publicity for its partnership with the Fair Labor Association to audit working conditions at several of its manufacturing partners' facilities in China, Financial Times reports that the company has now also partnered with the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE) for an environmental audit of a supplier's facilities.
Apple has agreed to a jointly monitored audit of pollution controls at a supplier's factory in China, in what activists see as a breakthrough in their efforts to persuade the world's most valuable company to address environmental concerns.

A maker of printed circuit boards for the Silicon Valley company is due to be inspected in the next few weeks by auditors, with Apple and the China-based Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE) jointly monitoring their efforts.
According to the report, Apple and the IPE have been in discussions for months about a partnership, culminating in a five-hour meeting in Cupertino last October that set the stage for a formal relationship. Following this initial audit, the IPE hopes that it will be able to partner with Apple on audits of thirteen other facilities in China that are already being monitored by Apple.

The IPE is led by Ma Jun, an environmental activist who just today was announced as one of six winners of this year's Goldman Environmental Prize.
In October, the activist and author met with senior Apple executives in San Francisco and Cupertino to discuss his report, published a month earlier, on health hazards caused by pollution in the company's Chinese supply chain.

Ma will be at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco on Monday to receive the Goldman Environmental Prize for "bringing unprecedented environmental transparency and empowering Chinese citizens to demand justice." His work has prompted the Chinese government and multinational corporations, including Apple, to more seriously confront the issues he has long been raising.
As part of its environmental disclosures, Apple has noted that it focused on 14 suppliers for environmental audits in 2011, and the company is expanding its efforts in 2012 to include additional facilities, work more closely with governmental and nongovernmental agencies such as the IPE, and increase training on environmental responsibility throughout its supply chain.

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33 months ago
As Apple and everyone else knows, the real pollution comes from the first steps in production. Chinese mines are a horror story and it doesn't get much better at the next tiers of processing the base materials and then forming them into parts and so on up the ladder.

This is the real reason stuff can be made cheaply in China.

You can bet the labor situation at these levels is also vastly worse than at Foxcon and other more visible plants.

So, really the announced (!) inspection of a high-level assembly plant is just a fell-good process that will end with a gala dinner of Peking Duck and a surprisingly good Chinese wine.
Rating: 5 Votes
33 months ago

When it comes to the environment, Apple may be the lesser of ten thousand evils, but that still doesn't change the fact that extremely heavy consumption of consumer electronic products is a net negative for the environment no matter who supplies it.



Agreed. If we really cared about the environment, we should consume less, e.g. not buying the newer product's version every year. Maybe when people do this, companies will care more about product upgradeability, that is, the possibility to increase the power of a device by changing some parts instead of the whole one.
Rating: 4 Votes
33 months ago

Hahah I was gonna post that exact thing... How stupid do they think people are?

China has rivers that have RED "water", thats how polluted they are. Nobody gives a crap about the environment there. Just profits.


Spot on. Yet god forbid anyone criticize this issue on MacRumors. You know, it's when you blindly follow a company no matter what that you lose sight of what is important. I love Apple as much as the next guy here, but it's when we accept everything they do as perfect that Apple begins to slip (as is the case with Lion).
Rating: 3 Votes
33 months ago

Because Chinese citizens are incapable of caring about the environment or organizing to form activist organisations?

Prejudiced much?


No, because I've been to many parts of china, and India, and sadly isn't a green country (hence the need for environmental groups).

Google India River and see how much plastic is pouring out of India into the ocean, accompanied by sewage. China is far from an eco-friendly nation. Educate before you boldly criticize someone you do not know for making a valid point. It merely demonstrates your ignorance. :)

Done here as this thread (as usual) has become filled with personal attacks rather than productive discourse. As usual, god forbid someone make a statement that paints Apple in a bad light. As I stated, blind adoration will only lessen a great company, not improve it. As Steve Jobs did with Apple, perfection is key, not mediocrity.
Rating: 3 Votes
33 months ago
In the end, Apple is at least making an attempt to do the right thing. Whether it is enough will be argued by some. Certainly though more than the rest of the industry can claim or will do in the near future.
Rating: 2 Votes
33 months ago

"Chinese Environmental Group"

Isn't that an oxymoron?


lol exactly!
Rating: 2 Votes
33 months ago

Agreed. If we really cared about the environment, we should consume less, e.g. not buying the newer product's version every year. Maybe when people do this, companies will care more about product upgradeability, that is, the possibility to increase the power of a device by changing some parts instead of the whole one.


I think part of the issue is how you measure this. I think many people do try to consume less (I do), but there's no real way to know on the global scale. At the end of the day, you can only be responsible for yourself.
Rating: 2 Votes
33 months ago

your username with your view on the chinese are a bit oxymoron :rolleyes:


:rolleyes:

Agreed. If we really cared about the environment, we should consume less, e.g. not buying the newer product's version every year. Maybe when people do this, companies will care more about product upgradeability, that is, the possibility to increase the power of a device by changing some parts instead of the whole one.


Well stated sir :)
Rating: 2 Votes
33 months ago
Let’s see if this follows the same pattern as with labor practices:

1. Problems in the electronics industry as a whole and in China specifically.

2. Apple reports their own problems publicly.

3. Apple takes steps to fix those problems, and reports publicly on their progress as well as their failures.

4. Years pass. Things improve greatly, but more improvement is still called for.

5. During all these years, Apple’s competitors cover up their own problems, and do little but make empty statements. They are the problem, while Apple is the solution.

6. Apple invites public auditing by third parties. No other tech companies do. The audits verify exactly what Apple has already reported.

7. Journalists try to find more dirt on Apple, that Apple hasn’t reported themselves. They never find a single thing. So, many of them simply make it up, or invite “artists” to create fictions reported as news. Bask in the attention and ad revenue!

8. Lots of people believe this stuff, and even after the lies are admitted, keep believing it. Others just repeat it knowing it to be lies. But, hey... attention and ad revenue!

9. Many of these people boycott Apple and buy from the companies that are doing nothing. The workers suffer.

10. Activists hurt their own cause by going along will all this, attacking Apple instead of attacking the companies that should be doing what Apple is. The workers suffer.

11. Lesson learned: if you try to solve a problem, attention is drawn to it. Better to do nothing and look good. PR is more important than real solutions! And lies sell better than facts.

We already know Apple’s leading environmental record... let’s see how many of the above steps are followed anyway, while other companies that do far less are ignored to commit whatever wrongs they like :)
Rating: 1 Votes
33 months ago

I guess you've never been involved in audits before, most people haven't, and only have horror stories from IRS audits of actual tax evaders for their information. Here's a tip: Audit is not a synonym for Bad.

Here's another tip: Audit is not synonym for rubber stamp. And yes, I've participated in numerous audits as part of my job duties.


100% sure that was a reference to a false journalist who has admitted to making up stories about factory workers. And has been proved wrong by actual journalists.

There was nothing in that post to indicate it was referring to a single incident.


I'll let others play with the rest of your obviously non-objective post. Talk about an oxymoron.

What a cop out. If you had anything to work with you would have already made your case. But since you don't there's nothing else to say.
Rating: 1 Votes

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