Once scorned in China, Apple now praised for environmental policies

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple's aggressive enforcement of environmental policies in China has turned activists ? who were once some of its harshest critics ? into ardent defenders.

China


In 2011, Chinese environmental groups took Apple to task over pollution produced by its suppliers building parts for devices like the iPhone. They claimed that Apple was unresponsive to concerns, and was taking advantage of lax environmental protection rules.

But in the last few years, the company has instituted a number of changes, and those have been noticed by its former critics, Adam Lashinsky of Fortune reported on Friday. Most notably, Chinese environmental activist Ma Jun spoke at a panel recently in Chengdu where he "practically gushed about Apple's change in behavior."

Apple initially drew the ire of Ma when his Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs approached 29 major Western companies about environmental cooperation. Apple was the only company of the 29 that did not respond, citing a "long-term policy" against participating with such groups.

Ma's group then wrote a series of reports chastising Apple, which prompted the iPhone maker to meet with his organization and attempt to address concerns over domestic supplier pollution. By early 2012, Apple had agreed to open up supplier factories to third-party environmental inspections from groups like the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs.

After instituting its changes, Apple is now heralded as a leader in environmental activism in China, and has been credited with motivating its supply chain partners to clean up their operations.

The changes have all been instituted since the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, which has led to speculation that current Chief Executive Tim Cook "has been supportive of Apple's cooperation with environmental groups in a way that Jobs was not," Lashinsky wrote.

Apple has been a more open company regarding environmental policies and workers' rights in China and elsewhere since Cook took the helm in August of 2011. The CEO even went as far as to personally visit a Foxconn iPhone assembly plant during a trip to China last year.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,405member
    I am not surprised. As with most things Apple, when all the facts are out, the company usually gets vindicated. Apple's approach to dealing with its environmental footprint has led the industry for many years now.
  • Reply 2 of 13
    leighrleighr Posts: 161member
    Since when has China been concerned about the environment?
  • Reply 3 of 13
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    leighr wrote: »
    Since when has China been concerned about the environment?

    That's funny. Smog all over Peking and they concern about Apple?
  • Reply 4 of 13
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by leighr View Post



    Since when has China been concerned about the environment?


    This is not the Chinese government - this is an environmental activist group.

  • Reply 5 of 13
    spaceraysspacerays Posts: 114member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by leighr View Post



    Since when has China been concerned about the environment?




    More Tar Sands! More Keystone! More Horizon! More Invasions for Oil!



    Yeah, China shouldnt care at all, if USA were its idol.

    Thank God it isnt.

  • Reply 6 of 13
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,799member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by elroth View Post


    This is not the Chinese government - this is an environmental activist group.



     


    Which could not exist without the tacit approval of the Chinese government. China is not the U.S. "Activists" are all tools of the communist government.

  • Reply 7 of 13
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,799member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by spacerays View Post




    More Tar Sands! More Keystone! More Horizon! More Invasions for Oil!



    Yeah, China shouldn't care at all, if USA were its idol.

    Thank God it isnt.



     


    Your moral equivalency argument is disgusting.

  • Reply 8 of 13
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,320member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


     


    Which could not exist without the tacit approval of the Chinese government. China is not the U.S. "Activists" are all tools of the communist government.



     


    Rubbish.  The CPC are just as capable of being apathetic towards an activist cause as any other political party around the world.  Just because the activists aren't whisked off to a gulag doesn't mean that they're state sponsored.


     


    If the Chinese government cared about environmental issues they'd toughen up on environmental regulations.

  • Reply 9 of 13
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,137member
    This is just another example of going after low-hanging fruit. But in this case, it's because of fear of the Chinese government. Local environmentalists find it much easier to go after foreigners than domestic or goverment offenders. Let's hope their success leads them to take on the more risky targets.
  • Reply 10 of 13
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    If this article was about how Apple had failed miserably with environmental policies this would be over 100 posts deep by now, but it's a positive story about Apple so it's at one-tenth that. No wonder sites prefer the doom and gloom ant-Apple stories over more accurate and fair stories.
  • Reply 11 of 13
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member


    Screw these activists. They'll probably be whining about something else in the future, so it's best to just ignore them.


     


    How long until the next commie state sponsored smear campaign against Apple? When do the current bribes expire?

  • Reply 12 of 13
    joshajosha Posts: 901member

    Quote:

    But in the last few years, the company has instituted a number of changes, and those have been noticed by its former critics, Adam Lashinsky of Fortune reported on Friday. Most notably, Chinese environmental activist Ma Jun spoke at a panel recently in Chengdu where he "practically gushed about Apple's change in behavior."


    About time Apple got some credit for their environmental pushing in China.   image

  • Reply 13 of 13
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member
    Apple ][
    "Screw these activists. They'll probably be whining about something else in the future, so it's best to just ignore them.

    How long until the next commie state sponsored smear campaign against Apple? When do the current bribes expire?"
    - - -
    Is it just the commie states that run smear campaigns against Apple? Seems such a campaign is taking place today that is not a 'commie' state.
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