Apple’s suppliers may be outputting dangerous levels of toxic pollution, and even forcing villagers to send their children out of town for school for health reasons, according to a new report from the Financial Times.
The report indicates that 5 separate environmental organizations in China have accused Apple of knowingly engaging in deals with known polluters and taking advantage of political loopholes in developing countries’ environmental policies.
Two factories in particular, Kaedar Electronics and Unimicron Electronics, are said to be outputting so much dangerous pollution that villagers near the factories must send their kids out of town for schooling due to the health risks.
Although it has been claimed that Apple did not responde to the accusations, prompting the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs to release today’s report, it does seem as though Apple did respond to the group with skepticism regarding the claims prior to the reports’ release, and asking for additional evidence.
Apple’s latest supplier responsibility report confirms that there have been some concerns, stating that 27 facilities have failed to control air emissions, 80 facilities were improperly storing or mishandling hazardous chemicals, and 41 facilities were not properly disposing of hazardous waste as required by law.
Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu offered the following statement:
Apple is committed to driving the highest standards of social responsibility throughout our supply base. 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.”
In their credit, Apple has traditionally led the industry in environmental responsibility.