Apple Beginning Independent Environmental Audits of Chinese Suppliers' Facilities

While Apple's partnership with the Fair Labor Association to conduct independent audits of working conditions at factories in Apple's supply chain has been gaining headlines in recent weeks, USA Today reports that Apple is also gearing up for independent environmental audits of several suppliers. The news comes as Apple yesterday released its annual environmental report, touting a number of new initiatives and improvements, including significant investments in alternative energy at its new North Carolina data center.

Ma Jun, founder of the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs, told USA TODAY in a phone interview Monday that Apple agreed to the independent reviews in late January in response to two reports that IPE and other environmental groups released last year documenting hazardous-waste leaks and the use of toxic chemicals at suspected Apple suppliers.

The reviews, which could begin in March, will start with two suppliers but might expand to others, said Ma, one of China's leading environmental activists.

Linda Greer, Washington-D.C.-based director of the National Resources Defense Council's health program, said Apple agreed to allow environmental groups to examine at least two of the 14 suppliers that Apple did environmental audits on last year. Apple has promised the groups access to the factories, she said. The reviews will focus on environmental issues, such as whether Apple suppliers are discharging toxic waste into the water supply and soil.

Apple is reportedly also working with the IPE's database of environmental violations in China, using the data to help monitor current supply chain partners and evaluate potential new ones.


Apple is said to be looking to add a similar level of transparency to its environmental auditing as it is deploying for audits of working conditions, seeking to make the results public and naming the audited suppliers once they have had an opportunity to address any deficiencies.

Top Rated Comments

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113 months ago
Whether this is because Tim is now in charge, or Apple is getting larger by the minute, it is good to see them start doing things like this.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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113 months ago
Whether you think this is a cynical attempt at brand protection further down the line or you believe Apple are leading the way in employee and environmental welfare regulation, this move can ONLY be a good thing.

Let's hope everyone else follows suit.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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113 months ago
Anyone seen the Android trolls yet? What's the hold up, they should be here by now.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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113 months ago

Whether this is because Tim is now in charge, or Apple is getting larger by the minute, it is good to see them start doing things like this.


I think Tim realised a while back that investing in Apple employees from the bottom up can only strengthen them.

If done right, there is no downside to this.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
113 months ago

Whether this is because Tim is now in charge

Yes.

or Apple is getting larger by the minute

Yes.

it is good to see them start doing things like this.

Yes.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
113 months ago

Start counting when the first posts arrive that it's all rigged, not honest, jobs need to be in USA., Apple is just paying lip service, PR stunt etc.etc.

To me Apple demonstrated that they do what they say when they started looking into greener manufacturing, use of components that are easier to recycle and give you options to send in your old equipment.

They joined FLA, give access to FoxConn, get wage raises.

But......it will never be enough for the nay sayers!


I'm afraid Thunderhawks is only too correct.

While I am sure more could be done, more can always be done. It seems to me Apple deserves at least some praise for it's efforts...no matter what the motivation...good, bad, or indifferent.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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