updated 01:25 pm EDT, Mon April 16, 2012
Apple has 'changed a lot,' activist says
Apple is planning to do a pollution audit of one of its parts suppliers, a Chinese environmental group tells the Wall Street Journal. A vice director for the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, Wang Ding, elaborates that the supplier makes printed circuit boards, but Wang is refusing to name the company. She does say that the IPE will be participating in the audit, and have help from professional auditors. The group is hoping to audit other Apple suppliers as well, but Wang adds that this is dependent "on Apple's and its suppliers' actions."
Wang notes that the IPE was previously critical of Apple for it being the one company to not respond to a 2010 report, which identified environmental issues caused by 29 different businesses operating in China. Apple did, however, respond to a second report published just last September. "We think they have changed a lot, especially that they are opening up and allowing an audit like this," says Wang. "It's a good start and a good change, but we will watch closely to see what happens and if they maintain this more open attitude."
Apple has carried out its own environmental audits in the past. Last year the company claims it ended up requiring 58 facilities to improve air pollution, and 69 to use better hazardous waste disposal. It also says it is cooperating with governments and NGOs to work on environmental conditions throughout its supply chain.