Chinese NGOs say Apple failed to address concerns over pollution, health & safety at supplier factories in China
On 20 January 2011 a coalition of NGOs led by Friends of Nature, Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, and Green Beagle, issued a report entitled, "The Other Side of Apple".
This report constitutes "Phase IV" of a series of reports documenting the response of 29 IT brands to allegations that their suppliers in China dump heavy metals into China's water bodies, singling Apple out as the least responsive of the brands. (For the first three reports and company responses and non-responses to those reports, including Apple's, click here.) The present report challenges the statement in Apple's Supplier Code of Conduct, which reads:
“Apple is committed to ensuring that working conditions in Apple's supply chain are safe, that workers are treated with respect and dignity, and that manufacturing processes are environmentally responsible.”
The authors of the report conclude:
"After a difficult investigation we finally managed to clear away some of the dense fog that enshrouds Apple‘s supply chain. After comparing Apple‘s commitment with their actual performance we were surprised to find a brand with two such contrasting sides."
The NGOs sent the report directly to Apple with this cover letter [PDF], requesting a dialogue. When Apple responds, its statement will be added to this page.
Apple spokespeople commented on the allegations in the following news articles:
- "Apple Targeted Over China's Production Standards", AFP, 20 Jan 2010
- "Apple Says It Monitors Work Conditions in China Amid Outcry", Michael Kan, IDG News, 21 Jan 2010
For further news reports on the allegations, see:
- "Apple's Apocalypse?: Institute Says iPhones Come At Expense Of Human Rights", Molly-Marie Canales, Neon Tommy, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, 31 Jan 2011
- "Apple Takes Heat from Chinese NGOs of Supply Chain Pollution", GreenBiz, 24 Jan 2011
- "Apple secretive about 'polluting and poisoning' supply chain, says report", Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, 20 Jan 2011
To access the report in the original Chinese, click here.