Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) products may be huge in China, but they’re also made in China, and that process produces an awful lot of pollution, according to domestic environmnetal protection groups. As many as 27 different Apple suppliers have been accused of releasing pollution and carcinogens, and yesterday Apple finally sat down to talk it out with its critics.
The meeting, which lasted three and a half hours and took place in Apple’s Beijing offices, was attended by nine representatives for five different domestic environmental groups, and five Apple team representatives.
Li Li, a representative for one of the environmental groups, told Sina Tech that she was pleased Apple took the time to sit down with them, but that the company is still pushing the responsibility for pollution problems onto its suppliers and its attitude wasn’t sincere.
Apple admitted that of the 27 suppliers accused of polluting in the environmentalists’ report, 15 were indeed Apple suppliers, Li Li said (Apple does not publicly list its suppliers). In keeping with form, Apple would not tell the groups which 15 names were correct. According to Li:
Apple said they had already spoken to 11 supply firms and asked them to reform, and they’re in the process of initiating communications with the other four.
Of course, what the environmental NGOs are really worried about is when and how well these suppliers reform their practices, and — as ever — Apple kept mum on that front, although it did say it would maintain better communication with domestic NGOs in the future.
Feng Yongfeng, another environmental rep present at the meeting, said that Apple had admitted it didn’t place enough emphasis on environmental protection, and that in the future environmental problems will be included in the evaluation process that occurs when Apple chooses its suppliers.
[Via Sina Tech]