I want a Greener Apple
In recent years, China has seen a wave of horrific incidents involving hundreds of children and thousands of people in communities across the country poisoned by heavy metal pollution1, 2. These problems are caused by companies that have put profit before the environment and community health. As a result, the Chinese government has stepped up its efforts to investigate and clean up some of the most notorious industries. China's environmental organizations have formed a Green Choice Alliance to clean up the Information Technology (IT) industry's supply chains, a notorious source of toxic pollution.
This April, after extensive research and investigation, the Green Choice Alliance, a coalition of 34 Chinese organizations, wrote letters to 29 multinational IT companies to express concern about companies within their China-based supply chains that have been found to be in violation of Chinese environmental regulations. The Green Choice Alliance's investigation and the 29 IT companies' response were documented in a report that was disclosed to the public and garnered widespread media attention3,4.
Some of the suppliers cited in the report and in the letters committed a number of gross violations, including using secret pipes to discharge untreated wastewater directly into waterways. Another company, Huaqiang Battery Ltd, is located near a village where more than a hundred children were poisoned by exposure to excessive lead5. The Green Choice Alliance urged multinationals to investigate the suppliers that the Chinese government's Environmental Protection Agency has found in violation of environmental regulations. The Alliance also asked the multinationals to commit to using publicly available data such as China's Water Pollution Map to monitor and ensure their suppliers' compliance.
As of today, Apple has not yet provided adequate answers. Despite repeated attempts made by our Chinese NGO colleagues and Pacific Environment, Apple representatives have chosen not to answer specific questions and concerns. Already mired in controversy regarding the labor practices of its key Chinese supplier, Foxconn, Apple's secrecy and unresponsiveness to environmental groups calls into question the company's self-proclaimed commitment to social and environmental responsibility.
Pacific Environment stands in solidarity with our Chinese environmental colleagues and applauds their efforts to address grave environmental health issues such as heavy metal poisoning. As consumers, we have a duty to ensure that the products we buy are made with environmentally sustainable and socially responsible methods. Apple is fully capable of cleaning up its supply chain and should commit to doing so.
Chinese consumers are writing to Steve Jobs urging him to respond to the Green Choice Alliance and address their questions and concerns. You can show your solidarity and join in the efforts by sending the following letter and voicing your concerns about the environmental impacts of Apple's supply chain in China.