or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Chinese environmental groups take issue with Apple over pollution
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Chinese environmental groups take issue with Apple over pollution - Page 2

post #41 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post

From the Financial Times article (and isn't odd that the FT are reporting this after getting their hands slapped on the App Store thing? - just pondering that one) cited by AI:



So note that in fact they did not say that the 29 companies complied - they only reported "singling out Apple as unresponsive" and they went ahead and published the report anyway. Never mind that Apple claimed that some of the suppliers weren't even making parts for Apple and that - as cited later in the same article:



No, these activists, just like Greenpeace, are reaching out to the highest profile company to make a media splash, and even if they are not directly involved with the Chinese government, they may not be getting the kind of government regulatory traction they want and decided to use the client companies instead to generate attention. Notice no other company besides Apple was mentioned. Usually a flag.

Apple's also a company, as I mentioned earlier, that makes a BIG DEAL about their environmental policies. So them not complying isn't just a issue with them allegedly not caring about the environment, but also could be construed as false advertising, since they're using environmentalism to try and sell devices.

Yes, Apple claimed that some of the suppliers weren't making components for them, but didn't provide further detail.

Seriously, it could come out that Apple used their computers to club baby seals as a form of stress testing, and you guys would still be defending their actions. Not even the most rabid Android/Windows/Nokia/WebOS/etc site goes that far.
post #42 of 66
Tell me this isn't toxic:



Full article:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/...387392,00.html

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

Reply

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

Reply
post #43 of 66
I think this has to be one of the funniest things ever.
post #44 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by funkdis View Post

Just got back from shanghai this morning, factories surely do produce majority of the Pollution, however just on the streets from what I saw, there is pollution everywhere from vehicles, people smoking, [...]

"people smoking", that's for sure the main reasons for Pollution...
sent from my... internet browser of choice.
Reply
sent from my... internet browser of choice.
Reply
post #45 of 66
There is a lot of interest in bringing these types of jobs back to the US. Good idea I guess, but have you seen the pictures of how these people work. Would you work like that? Shoulder to shoulder under a production rate gun? I don't think so. You would slow down, and a whole line of people slowing down would drop productivity too far for the margins made on this type of manufacturing.

Or, we could bring the work stateside, and have it built by automation. Far from the lines of supply and parts, that's a lot of 747s full of parts just to get it to the factory line. There goes that margin, particularly if the bulk or the increasing bulk of the finished product are going to Asia.

One more thing, if you get a look at those teardown sites on here, you will notice that Apple products are not particularly made for automation. Each product is hand crafted, ( by an army of hands) and get out the heat gun if you want to do any work on them.


Finally, pollution. NIMBY would take over over here. These nasty chemicals requires extensive safety protocols stateside. And you would have to ship them into the US. Long transportation of dangerous chemical is expensive.

Finally, notice that these people complaining, right or wrong, are NGO's. Not the governments. Of course they are correct. I too have been to parts of Asia where it is disgusting. Air, water, dumps.. the whole works, and when you get back stateside, you always notice how clean it is. That's because we exported pollution along with jobs. But for now the governments are in on it. And they have bigger problems than pollution for right now, so we are safe.

If you get a chance, check out the NASA Visualization App. And check out the black carbon maps.

I know of no good solution here anymore.

And as far as bringing those jobs back, Well, That train has already left.

Kind of curious how long until those governments wake up and decide to sanction or sue us for ruining the health of their own people. If you think of how governments rise and fall and change, its got to happen.

Thank god that will be our kids problem, not ours.
post #46 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by plokoonpma View Post

This is funny coming from the #1 polluting country. Blame other for their lack of vision and responsibility.... Haven't heard anything on the news that they are changing laws regarding the hundred of chemical plants polluting or for strict laws on car emissions which by the way has every car company in the world making cars plus their own brands.
I admire China cause I think they have opened themselves for better things in business, infrastructure, education but they still lack some core values....


China is the #1 polluting country precisely because of the "others" shifting all their pollution creating works into China.

Take the production of coke used in steel making for example. It's a very dirty process, emitting very large amount of Carbon monoxide. But when China attempted to reduce emissions in this industry by closing down smaller dirtier producers, which caused a shortage in the world market, European nations filed WTO complaint about it.

If China's law were lax, then all of you people who has the "core values" would naturally not take advantage of it and behave in a manner that befit your "core values", right? Yeah, right.

Take yourself for example. If limiting pollution is part of your "core value", then why do you feel the need to deride China for failure to regulate because some environmentalist groups are trying to get Apple to limit their pollution? Is your core value defined as: If others are doing bad things, we should have the right to do the same?
post #47 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Menno View Post

Apple's also a company, as I mentioned earlier, that makes a BIG DEAL about their environmental policies. So them not complying isn't just a issue with them allegedly not caring about the environment, but also could be construed as false advertising, since they're using environmentalism to try and sell devices.

Yes, Apple claimed that some of the suppliers weren't making components for them, but didn't provide further detail.

Seriously, it could come out that Apple used their computers to club baby seals as a form of stress testing, and you guys would still be defending their actions. Not even the most rabid Android/Windows/Nokia/WebOS/etc site goes that far.

Well, some here might - but what is important is facts. I used to participate in a well-known environmental activist organization and know this stuff from the inside out. You assume that Apple is in fact complicit and therefore wrong and subject to comments like above. I maintain that while Apple may not be policing their suppliers to a degree that some would prefer, there are complexities here that you apparently refuse to acknowledge, and which include dealing with local and national government enforcement offices, trying to determine malfeasance when your supplier is actively trying to hide it, and maintaining tight controls over who is making what for your operations so that corporate espionage is hampered and allows Apple to produce its products in a competitive manner.

Apple has a vested interest to maintain a degree of validity (taking it in the most critical way) to their claims of environmental concern and worker conditions review. If public opinion turns against them they cannot sell products, period. You persist in dunning people for skepticism when there is reasonable cause for it, yet reserve the right to be critical in spite of questionable motivations. I'm not saying Ma Jun is wrong - he has an impossible task that he has to approach very delicately in view of how the Chinese government reacts to criticism, but he is also desperate to leverage whatever means he can to drive his agenda. And Apple is not a home-grown company - it is one of many multinationals who do business in China because suppliers there can produce at very competitive costs - resulting in environmental and workplace conditions that are not healthy.

Here let me quote Ma himself from the Yale 360 site:

Quote:
Ma’s contention is that companies, including Apple, can better ensure that the reality on the factory floor matches their lofty mission statements through more transparent oversight processes. “Apple by itself cannot overcome such great challenges,” he says. “We cannot trust it can do it without participation from other stakeholders.”

So you can rail all you want to about supporters on an Apple-related site not wanting to accept something at face value when there is reasonable doubt around the main facts of the article and the interpretation reached by the writer, but just because you choose to assume malfeasance because it suits you doesn't invalidate the assumption of no wrong by others when there is reason to question it.

Until you understand in depth the complexities of the manufacturing that goes into what you accept as normal 21st century living, you should perhaps be more reticient to be critical when facts do not align. You perhaps have no knowledge of the slag heaps in Canada where nickel is processed to produce everything from batteries to appliances in your kitchen. Or countless other basic fundamental and necessary realities that develop out of even being green through producing the silicon to create solar panels, let alone the refineries that produce the long-chain hydrocarbons that make up the plastics, the solvents that allow for detailed and critical manufacturing of life-saving hospital equipment, or the chemicals that allow for better reduction in polluting treatments in other processes.

Everything comes with a price. Even the things you assume are healthy or environmentally safe. There are no simple answers to any of this, and what you don't know about it dwarfs what you do.
If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
Reply
If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
Reply
post #48 of 66
Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! From what I hear, the air is unbreathable in China's big cities. Let's not even mention all the toxic chemicals that are routinely found in Chinese-made products. Unbelievable!
post #49 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

You forgot to add at the very end ... 'By Americans.' Let us not forget all the US companies who thrive on immigrant labor in CA, legal and illegal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xsu View Post

China is the #1 polluting country precisely because of the "others" shifting all their pollution creating works into China.

Take the production of coke used in steel making for example. It's a very dirty process, emitting very large amount of Carbon monoxide. But when China attempted to reduce emissions in this industry by closing down smaller dirtier producers, which caused a shortage in the world market, European nations filed WTO complaint about it.

If China's law were lax, then all of you people who has the "core values" would naturally not take advantage of it and behave in a manner that befit your "core values", right? Yeah, right.

Take yourself for example. If limiting pollution is part of your "core value", then why do you feel the need to deride China for failure to regulate because some environmentalist groups are trying to get Apple to limit their pollution? Is your core value defined as: If others are doing bad things, we should have the right to do the same?

China need to create laws about almost everything. They went from being closed to an almost open country and their growth became exponential. Too many manufacturing problems. Contaminated milk, acetone shipped to other countries as something else. Here in my county we got more than 7 thousand people poisoned and from those more than 2 thousand dead, other with new diseases that will kill them cause the poisoning. Good thing is that they punished with dead those involved.

When I talked about values I was talking in general then you make it personal as inferring that my post has something to do with my personal values. I think that is lack of respect from your part. But, no other company has done more to try to ensure better work conditions for the workers than Apple. They has finished business with some companies cause they didn't comply with Apple standards. Not many companies has such policy. Someone pointed out that products from Apple comply with standards that prevent use of pvc and other materials dangerous for health after these product reach their end of live but they do not see that also those materials are not present at the moment of manufacturing.
Theres a lot to do, I think there must be a way to polish an iPad without harmful chemicals for example.
What I find wrong from China is to blame on Apple the pollution problem and not be concerned about it since they are among the few ones doing something about it. Do you know how many cars are in Beijing? Do you now how many thousand miles of road are built each year in China. Just the concrete factories pollute a lot. Not to mention chemical plants all over. Thats a state problem that China must handle and will take time to effectively solve.
post #50 of 66
(For those wondering about my perspective, I am a Chinese-American environmental scientist)

1) Apple should be held to the same standards as everyone else. Just because we are fans of Apple products, we shouldn't give them a free pass. By the same token, people should not dog pile on them simply because they are a successful, famous brand. I have a feeling that if Apple were not in the media so much, this report would not have been made singling them out.

2) Having said that, what about Apple's response would even warrant a description as "unresponsive"? I know sometimes they take their time to gather the correct information before responding. Is that all it is, or is it literally hand-in-the-face rejection?

3) China as a whole needs to get its act together environmentally. Environmental standards and increased cost do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. At least, there are some low-hanging fruit where you can increase price by 5% and decrease pollution by 50% (hypothetical numbers). You do not have to turn every Shenzhen factory into an American Apparel boutique.

4) The above will probably happen on its own in China, but will take probably 10-25 years. As the middle class grows, they will naturally demand higher standards. They will become more educated as to the ill-effects of pollution. They will HOPEFULLY develop higher, more nuanced ethical standards.
post #51 of 66
It's not up to Apple to regulate China. The Chinese government are to blame for not regulating the manufacturing industry. Or, if the people wanted change, they should just vote in a new government....

I have to agree though, China is polluted. I visited there not that long ago and the pollution was just shocking. Apocalyptic . Way worse than anywhere else I have ever been, and I have been round the block a few times.
post #52 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by plokoonpma View Post

This is funny coming from the #1 polluting country. Blame other for their lack of vision and responsibility.... Haven't heard anything on the news that they are changing laws regarding the hundred of chemical plants polluting or for strict laws on car emissions which by the way has every car company in the world making cars plus their own brands.
I admire China cause I think they have opened themselves for better things in business, infrastructure, education but they still lack some core values....

How are those "core values" working for the US and the west?
post #53 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by pondosinatra View Post

Um, you do know that Apple computers haven't been manufactured anywhere outside of Asia in 20 years right?

And you do know yes that Apple doesn't own or control any of said companies and that in fact they are only one of dozens of corporations that use said factories and suppliers. And that in fact we have no idea of all those other folks responded or not. This group has singled out Apple because they know that the sites will jump on posting an article that mentions Apple since that gets tons of hits and thus tons of ad money

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #54 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by markiv View Post

This pot calling the kettle black. It's a fact that local industry in China does far more pollution than Apple or any other industry that is set up in China would. It wasn't so long ago when there was pond (or a lake I forget) of methane in China that was causing some serious pollution to the environment. Why does China care about pollution its not as if they care about human rights or freedom of their citizens (lets not pretend that China has any human approach towards its citizens).

Oh yeah. Only people in the west and US have compassion for humans and therefore value human rights, right?
post #55 of 66
Also note that according to Apple, many of the offending companies on this group's list are not Apple suppliers.

THAT could be why they were unresponsive. If the hue and cry was "help us stop these companies from polluting by refusing to do business with them" but Apple already isn't doing business with them then there's nothing for Apple to do.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #56 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheElectricChairRepairman View Post

How are those "core values" working for the US and the west?

Pretty good by comparison thanks.
post #57 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

And you do know yes that Apple doesn't own or control any of said companies and that in fact they are only one of dozens of corporations that use said factories and suppliers. And that in fact we have no idea of all those other folks responded or not. This group has singled out Apple because they know that the sites will jump on posting an article that mentions Apple since that gets tons of hits and thus tons of ad money

Precisely.
post #58 of 66
It sounds like a serious and legitimate issue. Not an Apple issue specifically... but Apple IS a great choice of someone to call out, if you want a serious problem to get the attention it needs. Hopefully the end result is that my next Apple product—and stuff from companies who are FAR worse but never get the media attention!--will be a little less harmful.

I’d rather have my “Apple fan” feelings hurt a little than see a serious issue go ignored just because the nonprofits fighting it were afraid to use publicity stunts!
post #59 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

And you do know yes that Apple doesn't own or control any of said companies and that in fact they are only one of dozens of corporations that use said factories and suppliers. And that in fact we have no idea of all those other folks responded or not. This group has singled out Apple because they know that the sites will jump on posting an article that mentions Apple since that gets tons of hits and thus tons of ad money

Oh, so they're just as bad as everyone else. Whatever happened to Think Different?

But it's not Apple's fault. No one wants to pay the additional cost for a computer manufactured in North America or Europe where they have things like benefits, employment laws, environmental oversight etc. Same reason Sally Soccer Mom buys her kids T-shirts at Walmart.
post #60 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post

Words

There is a big difference between "I think there's more to the story here" or someone (such as yourself) presenting information on why we question the report.

But that's not what I raised the issue for. I'm talking about how basically every single reply wasn't "There's something here" it was "Obviously this is just a case of someone gunning for apple"

Skepticism is valid, but only if you're skeptical of ALL things, and not just things that put pressure on your chosen company. If something helps apple, it's accepted at face value, even when there are significant reasons to pull the data into question. Anyone who raises an issue with the data is branded an "astro-Turfer" and people insist that the statement is valid.

When another study/report comes out, even if it's from the SAME organization (like surveys or analysts) but it doesn't paint apple positively, it's Immediately assumed to be false. It's not questioned, evidence isn't presented to the contrary, it's just assumed that it's wrong, and if anyone disagrees with this, they're again labeled as Astro-Turfers.

When this Article first posted, the responses were this:
Quote:

--Yes, I'm sure Apple is the cause of Chinese pollution. Bring the jobs back to the US!

--Is China sure the pollution is NOT coming friom all rthose FAKE Apple Stores pushing all those PIRATED software and hardware?

Maybe China's EPA needs to investigate there first!

--This is funny coming from the #1 polluting country. Blame other for their lack of vision and responsibility.... Haven't heard anything on the news that they are changing laws regarding the hundred of chemical plants polluting or for strict laws on car emissions which by the way has every car company in the world making cars plus their own brands.
I admire China cause I think they have opened themselves for better things in business, infrastructure, education but they still lack some core values....

Etc. Where are the "reasons" to question the article? No one is presenting them. In fact, your first response posits a conspiracy theory as why this is coming out, that it's a publicity stunt, which doesn't address the "validity" of the claim, or the pollution issues.

Skeptical people aren't the problem. But people here aren't skeptical. They have a worldview "Apple Can do no wrong" and respond to each post through that worldview, no matter what the evidence is, or what the case is. That's not skepticism.
post #61 of 66
Vietnam, Thailand, Korea, Taiwan, or any number of other countries would be happy to have Apple's business. The Chinese are the biggest hypocrites in the world. They will stand there and tell you "Yes" while the whole time they have no intention of anything but "No". They have no problem with stealing intellectual property or ignoring international trade laws. The Chinese "economic revolution" has been funded by American consumers credit cards. It is time for China to quit acting like they are clueless and naive - they need to step up and accept their responsibility as a global leader, and an economic partner.
post #62 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by xsu View Post

China is the #1 polluting country precisely because of the "others" shifting all their pollution creating works into China.

Are you nuts?! Since when does Apple run the Chinese factories that make products for the American market?! Do you think Apple instructed them to foul the atmosphere and overwork their employees? Ridiculous!
post #63 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robre View Post

I know I exaggerate a bit - but my first thought was, "Love it." Years ago companies started to manufacture in places where the cost-of-manufacture was lower than in the U.S. There is a certain threshold that when reached, companies start looking at pulling back. Has China reached that point - were manufacturing cost is, let's say, to pick a number, 70 percent of the cost in the U.S.?
If not, they are closing the gap really fast. Foxconn recognizes that danger. It is thinking of adding its of robots to their lines. Is a Chinese robot really that much cheaper than one that "works" in the US? What if Apple would quietly install robies in their old set of manufacturing buildings in Sacramento, CA. I give them (the Chinese) five more years to have a run with it. After that who knows. Can't wait to see on the label "Designed by Apple in California, assembled in California."

Sorry, I think you're incorrect on just about all counts. The average wage of a manufacturing worker in China is about $130 a month. Let's say they double that to $260 a month.

At a Federal U.S. minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, an employee who works 48 weeks per year will earn $1160 a month. However, the company also has to pay the employer's share of Social Security and Medicare, so that adds about another 7%, bringing the total to $1241 a month. If the employer provides health insurance, add a minimum of another $500 a month, probably much more. So we're talking at least $1741 a month vs. $130 to $260 a month and that's to pay what is essentially, a poverty wage in most places in the U.S. (Try finding even a studio in a slum neighborhood in the five boroughs of NYC for less than $1000 a month. There are hardly any.)

And China is not big on robotics (aside from making robots for non-Chinese factories) because China is trying to find as many jobs as possible for its workers.

And the problem with bringing such jobs back to the U.S. for automated factories is that automated factories don't provide very many jobs.

Now having said that, we can bring those jobs back to places like Western Europe and the U.S. if we were all willing to pay 2-3x what we're paying now for Apple products. And no one is willing to do that.
post #64 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by acslater017 View Post

(For those wondering about my perspective, I am a Chinese-American environmental scientist)

1) Apple should be held to the same standards as everyone else. Just because we are fans of Apple products, we shouldn't give them a free pass. By the same token, people should not dog pile on them simply because they are a successful, famous brand. I have a feeling that if Apple were not in the media so much, this report would not have been made singling them out.

2) Having said that, what about Apple's response would even warrant a description as "unresponsive"? I know sometimes they take their time to gather the correct information before responding. Is that all it is, or is it literally hand-in-the-face rejection?

3) China as a whole needs to get its act together environmentally. Environmental standards and increased cost do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. At least, there are some low-hanging fruit where you can increase price by 5% and decrease pollution by 50% (hypothetical numbers). You do not have to turn every Shenzhen factory into an American Apparel boutique.

4) The above will probably happen on its own in China, but will take probably 10-25 years. As the middle class grows, they will naturally demand higher standards. They will become more educated as to the ill-effects of pollution. They will HOPEFULLY develop higher, more nuanced ethical standards.

THANK-YOU!!!!!!

GANXIE!!!!!!! (sorry about the lack of accents!)
If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
Reply
If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
Reply
post #65 of 66
Um, you do know that Apple computers haven't been manufactured anywhere outside of Asia in 20 years right?

INcorrect. Cork made flavored iMacs, and possibly more, as late as 1999 (maybe longer.)
post #66 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Menno View Post

Actually, a chinese robot facility would be cheaper in china, as long as China maintains lax zoning and pollution laws.

The real expense to making things in the US is the Red Tape. Labor is more expensive, yes. But it's the laws, taxes, and limitations that currently make it unprofitable.

Laws, taxes, and limitations: The US government can help but refuses to help. Or should I say that the US citizens elected a government which refuses to help the US citizens in making the US more manufacturing friendly environment which brings in more jobs.

Yes, there is always pollutions from making iDevices. The pollutions in China will affect the weather globally sooner or later.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Chinese environmental groups take issue with Apple over pollution