Apple opens talks with China environment groups

November 16, 2011
The Apple logo is seen in San Francisco, California in October 2011. Apple has for the first time held talks with environmental campaigners who accuse the company's Chinese manufacturers of widespread pollution, participants said Wednesday.

Apple has for the first time held talks with environmental campaigners who accuse the company's Chinese manufacturers of widespread pollution, participants said Wednesday.

The maker of the and agreed to meet five Chinese environmental groups after they issued a report in August that alleged rampant pollution at dozens of factories believed to be producing products for Apple.

One of the campaigners, Ma Jun, praised the talks as a "step forward" but criticised Apple for refusing to identify its suppliers in China -- a policy pressure groups say enables the electronics giant to evade scrutiny.

"This was the first time that they sat down with all five of us to discuss the report, so this was a step forward," said Ma, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs.

"Despite this they consider that the pollution from these 15 companies is a commercial secret. So we don't know the names of the 15 companies and we can't verify the steps they are making to curb pollution."

In the report, the environmental groups alleged that companies they believed to be supplying Apple were discharging toxic substances that were harming workers and local residents.

Apple, whose iPhones and iPads are hugely popular among China's growing middle class, declined to comment on the meeting directly.

Apple has in the past confirmed that two Chinese factories, one owned by Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn and the other by WinTek, also a Taiwanese company, were making its products.

It acknowledged the FoxConn plant after a series of worker suicides there and has said that last year 137 workers at the WinTek plant suffered "" when exposed to a called N-hexane, used to clean screens.

"We require that our suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible wherever Apple products are made," said company spokeswoman Carolyn Wu.

Explore further: Apple details labor violations at its suppliers

Related Stories

Hong Kong protesters picket Apple supplier meeting

June 8, 2010

(AP) -- Protesters picketed Foxconn's annual general meeting in Hong Kong on Tuesday, accusing both the Apple Inc. supplier and computer giant of poor corporate ethics after a spate of suicides at Foxconn factories in mainland ...

Apple reports labor, safety problems at suppliers

February 16, 2011

(AP) -- Apple Inc. says its audits found labor, safety and other abuses by its suppliers in 2010, though it praised Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn for saving lives through its handling of a spate of suicides at its factories ...

Apple blasted for alleged pollution by suppliers

September 1, 2011

(AP) -- Apple is defending itself against a fresh barrage of criticism from Chinese environmental activists over alleged pollution by the manufacturers who make its iconic iPhones, iPads and other products.

Recommended for you

Internet giants race to faster mobile news apps

October 4, 2015

US tech giants are turning to the news in their competition for mobile users, developing new, faster ways to deliver content, but the benefits for struggling media outlets remain unclear.

Radio frequency 'harvesting' tech unveiled in UK

September 30, 2015

An energy harvesting technology that its developers say will be able to turn ambient radio frequency waves into usable electricity to charge low power devices was unveiled in London on Wednesday.

Professors say US has fallen behind on offshore wind power

September 29, 2015

University of Delaware faculty from the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE), the College of Engineering and the Alfred Lerner School of Business and Economics say that the U.S. has fallen behind in offshore wind ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.