September 1, 2011
Apple Defends Itself Against Pollution Allegations
Apple is defending itself against allegations that its Chinese factories are engaging in unconfined pollution.
Chinese environmental groups claimed that a number of factories making Apple products in the country were discharging harmful pollutants.
The report by the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE) and other non-government environment groups also said that one factory in the city of Taiyuan emitted irritating gases and residents had reported difficulty opening their windows.
"The large volume of discharge in Apple's supply chain greatly endangers the public's health and safety," said the report, issued on the website of the Beijing-based Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (http://www.ipe.org.cn/).
The report said that 27 suspected Apple suppliers had severe pollution problems, from toxic gases to heavy metal sludge.
"A large number of IT supplier violation records have already been publicized; however, Apple chooses not to face such information and continues to use these companies as suppliers. This can only be seen as a deliberate refusal of responsibility," the report said.
An Apple spokeswoman defended the company's environmentally conscious mind-set.
"Apple is committed to driving the highest standards of social responsibility throughout our supply base," Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu told Reuters.
"We require that our suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes wherever Apple products are made," she said.
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