Apple opening up supplier factories to third-party environmental inspections

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014


In addition to inspections of working conditions, Apple has agreed to cooperate on audits with independent environmental group seeking to verify the company's own findings.



At least two of Apple's suppliers will undergo the reviews, one prominent environmental activist told USA Today (via The Next Web).



Ma Jun, founder of the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs, said in an interview that Apple had agreed late last month to open up its facilities to address reports from IPE and other groups outing suspected Apple suppliers as polluters. The audits could start as early as next month and may eventually expand to other suppliers.



Linda Greer, who heads the National Resources Defense Council's health program, said Apple had agreed to allow access to two of the 14 suppliers reviewed in its own environmental audits from last year. The groups will reportedly focus on whether Apple's suppliers are improperly disposing of toxic waste.



Last November, reports emerged that Apple had met with Chinese environmental protection groups to discuss their concerns. At that time, the iPhone maker told activists that some of the suppliers listed in their reports were not in fact part of its supply chain. Apple told the leaders that it had spoken to most of the suppliers that had been identified in the research notes and would contact the rest to ask them to reform.











Apple took a step toward transparency last month when it published a list of major suppliers. According to Monday's report, confirmed Apple suppliers named in IPE's report include Foxconn Technology, Meiko Electronics, Unimicron, Ibiden Electronics, Wintek, Nan Ya Printed Circuit Board and Compeq Manufacturing. Meiko has been accused of polluting nearby rivers and lakes, while residents near a Unimicron factory have complained of acid gas and dust.



The Cupertino, Calif., company has been under public scrutiny as of late due to several recent reports from The New York Times and CNN examining working conditions within Foxconn. For its part, Apple points to its new participation in the Fair Labor Association as evidence that it is working to better monitor working conditions within its supply chain. The FLA conducts independent audits of its members suppliers. It began inspections at Foxconn last week.



Foxconn has responded to criticism by raising wages as much as 25 percent for its factory workers. ABC is set to air an inside look at the manufacturer's facilities Tuesday on its Nightline news program. Reporter Bill Weir was offered rare access to Apple's production lines to produce the special.





[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • market_playermarket_player Posts: 140member
    So when Apple's findings are proven will there be vindication in the media?.... probably not.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Market_Player View Post


    So when Apple's findings are proven will there be vindication in the media?.... probably not.



    And will other companies be called out for not opening themselves up to such audits?
  • asciiascii Posts: 5,363member
    Do Apple think that if they let Labor organisations and Environmental groups inspect their plants, that will be the end of it? No, the list of demands will never end.
  • slurpyslurpy Posts: 4,537member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Market_Player View Post


    So when Apple's findings are proven will there be vindication in the media?.... probably not.



    They'll probably find some minor contradictions, etc. and Apple will be defined as liars, hiding the truth, white-washing, etc. Not like Apple can be 100% aware of whats going on at these suppliers at all times, who themselves no doubt try to hide things from Apple. It's tough enough to be aware of everything going on at your OWN company, let alone suppliers across the world, under a communist government, with hundreds of thousands of employees.



    Meanwhile, everyone will ignore the elephant in the room, which is that Apple is the only company in the industry actually opening up its suppliers to inspections, audits, and to media outlets in this unprecedented way. Al the other big players are slinking in the dark, giddy at the attention Apple is getting, who is acting as the scapegoat for the entire industry (as well as other industries).
  • b9botb9bot Posts: 238member
    So to be fair, where are the other PC companies that use these same facilities? Why don't they open up? Apple isn't the only company using Foxconn and these other suppliers. Why don't the other companies pony up and make it right too. At least Apple is trying to do something about this while the others hide like scared mice.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Apple's exploitation tactics have caused yet another explosion in a Chinese factory killing 13 people¡
  • tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    I get a kick out of how they chose Apple and focus on them. Other companies manufacture computers in china. On a massive scale but do they get singled out? NO! What the hell is going on here? Is there some green paper filled brief cases being slid under the table by Samsung and others to vilify Apple? This is a Joke man.
  • lukeilukei Posts: 198member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    Apple's exploitation tactics have caused yet another explosion in a Chinese factory killing 13 people¡



    Definitely Apple's fault, couldn't be anyone else. Seriously accidents do happen especially in heavy industry. China has made so many improvements over the last few years they get a very hard rap over things like this.
  • sflocalsflocal Posts: 3,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    Apple's exploitation tactics have caused yet another explosion in a Chinese factory killing 13 people¡



    Of course. It makes sense this is all Apple's fault.



    Apple's products are made in China - Apple's fault.



    Those products made in China by chinese workers - Apple's fault



    Products made with metal that are mined from the earth in China - Apple's fault



    13-workers killed in steel plant making steel, mined from the earth, in China - Apple's fault.



    I see your logic Solips. It's frightening. </s>



    I heard in the news that fairy-dust, and unicorn droppings were outsourced to China - Apple's fault.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    Of course. It makes sense this is all Apple's fault.



    Apple's products are made in China - Apple's fault.



    Those products made in China by chinese workers - Apple's fault



    Products made with metal that are mined from the earth in China - Apple's fault



    13-workers killed in steel plant making steel, mined from the earth, in China - Apple's fault.



    I see your logic Solips. It's frightening. </s>



    I heard in the news that fairy-dust, and unicorn droppings were outsourced to China - Apple's fault.



    300 million year old forest in China buried in ash - Apple's fault.
  • gtrgtr Posts: 3,177member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    300 million year old forest in China buried in ash - Apple's fault.



    Anybody ever notice your iPhone heats up after constant use?



    Global warming - Apple's fault.
  • secular investorsecular investor Posts: 205member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    Apple's exploitation tactics have caused yet another explosion in a Chinese factory killing 13 people¡



    Yea, iPhones are made of solid steel LOL
  • f1ferrarif1ferrari Posts: 223member
    So what hasn't been blamed on Apple in the media lately? The extinction of the dinosaurs, the melting of the ice caps, the hole in the ozone layer, and gas prices going up. I'm sure I've missed a few...
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 14,854member
    You may as well get used to the criticisms as they're way past playing the underdog card. It's no longer the little guy fighting the world.



    Exxon gets it's fair share of accusations too. It just comes with the territory.
  • geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,121member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GTR View Post


    Anybody ever notice your iPhone heats up after constant use?



    Global warming - Apple's fault.



    Anyone notice the spike in brain cancer from people holding their iPhones to their ear???

    Apple's fault!
  • christopher126christopher126 Posts: 3,450member
    I certainly agree the media does hype certain stories...



    But having said that, I also think there are serious issues where Chinese labor is concerned.



    Has China's average growth of 10% a year for the last 20+ years lifted half their population out of poverty? Yes.



    Are there elements of exploitation? Yes.



    Is it a given that you have to have both? No.



    Best.
  • nemacxnemacx Posts: 18member
    This whole program isn´t about the press or the competitors that are doing close to nothing. It is about Apple´s customers and about Apple itself. About everyone that works for Apple Inc., be that directly or within supply and distribution.



    It´s a message of corporate philosophy and mentality, which is embodied throughout and within the organism Apple as corporation and as continuum stands for, to all its constituents that make up the Apple cosmos. Be that as a designer, coder, engineer, sales & marketing, distributor, sales floor agent, pr & ad agent, xEO, xOO, janitor, security, assembly line worker etc.... and as USER and CUSTOMER. We ALL are Apple, even the Apple-Haters if not in particular them.



    It is a statement that affection to detail is first and foremost affection to the individual using the product and that Apple is working hard to not loose the individual human being in the industrialized production process, which so often happens in most, if not all technical appliances that are mass manufactured (produced). That is what SJ & Apple distinguished from everyone else and why many flocked to Apple, even throughout its "Dark Ages", and continue to do. It is the appeal that Apple stands for.



    Apple answers to and adresses the individual in the public, not the public "en large" and its modern day self-serving proponents in media with its warped and distorted perception of how things ought to be. Apple has a face and speaks to a face, not to "the public".



    IMHO
  • pendergastpendergast Posts: 1,358member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    You may as well get used to the criticisms as they're way past playing the underdog card. It's no longer the little guy fighting the world.



    Exxon gets it's fair share of accusations too. It just comes with the territory.



    I must have missed the memo where a container ship of iPhones plunged into the ocean, permanently damaging critical ecosystems.
  • hill60hill60 Posts: 6,960member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    You may as well get used to the criticisms as they're way past playing the underdog card. It's no longer the little guy fighting the world.



    Exxon gets it's fair share of accusations too. It just comes with the territory.



    The Captain of the Exxon Valdez was obviously distracted by his Mac Portable,..



    ...Apple's fault.
  • digitalclipsdigitalclips Posts: 15,390member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    And will other companies be called out for not opening themselves up to such audits?



    They should be, let's all start a campaign or at least join one ... what's that web site that wants to claim they caused all this again? something .org
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