Apple opens talks with China environment groups

Nov 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: Tesla shares jump on Musk 'tease' in tweet

Related Stories

Apple blasted for alleged pollution by suppliers

Sep 01, 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.

Apple reports labor, safety problems at suppliers

Feb 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 ...

Hong Kong protesters picket Apple supplier meeting

Jun 08, 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 ...

Recommended for you

Huawei reports 2014 profit up 33 percent

7 minutes ago

Huawei Technologies Ltd., one of the world's biggest makers of telecommunications equipment, said Tuesday its 2014 profit rose 33 percent, helped by strong sales of smartphones.

Tesla shares jump on Musk 'tease' in tweet

12 hours ago

Tesla Motors shares jumped Monday after co-founder Elon Musk tweeted that the company would unveil as "major" new product line next month, leaving analysts guessing.

Amazon unveils move in local services

18 hours ago

US online giant Amazon said Monday it was launching a services marketplace offering to connect consumers with businesses offering anything from home improvement to piano lessons.

User comments : 0

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.