Chinese factories that assemble Apple products are claimed to be damaging the environment, releasing highly toxic substances at the expense of local resident’s health.
Apple has not disclosed which factories manufacture its products, but the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE) claim pollution complaints made to those suspected fell on deaf ears.
“The large volume of discharge in Apple’s supply chain greatly endangers the public’s health and safety,” stated a report compiled by the IPE environmental campaign groups.
Heading the IPE is Ma Jun, a former investigative journalist who was recognised in 2006 by Time magazine as one of the world’s most influential people. Since then Jun invests his efforts in campaigning for the environment.
“Through the process of our investigations, we discovered several suspected suppliers to Apple that have been the target of numerous complaints from local communities,” the report said.
“Through five months of research and field investigations we have found that the pollution discharge from this $300 billion company has been expanding and spreading throughout its supply chain.”
In one instance, Foxconn, who is believed to be manufacturing Apple products, is producing so much pollution in Northern China that at times local residents could not open their windows. Worse yet, Foxconn has previously made headlines as an alarming number of its employees have committed suicide.
Carolyn Wu, an Apple spokesperson, addressed the AFP by saying the company was investigating the allegations in 97 countries world-wide.
“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,” Wu said.