Apple Supply Chain Takes a Green Arrow

Interestingly, nearly half of Apple’s suppliers that underwent a focused environmental audit last year violated the company’s standards.

Those who violated standards were cited in China’s Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE) pollution database.

Apple inside

The IPE was founded by environmentalist Ma Jun, and has already gained renown for its China Water Pollution Map and China Air Pollution Map. These online maps, linked to databases of government-sourced information on pollution, give citizens, corporations, media, and other interested parties access to details related to water and air quality across the country.

The air and water pollution web site lists 80,000 records of violations by noncompliant enterprises.

The surprising thing is that the Chinese government is letting these things be tracked publicly. Perhaps Ma explains why with this statement:

“China’s environmental problem is so big that it can’t be resolved without engaging the public,” said Ma, “and access to information is the pre-condition for any meaningful public participation.”

Apple core suppliers

The report revealed other tidbits:

  • 147 facilities were not properly storing, moving or handling chemicals, e.g., some facilities did not provide anti-leakage protection or provide separate storage for incompatible chemicals.
  • Some 85 facilities failed to label hazardous waste storage locations and chemical containers, while 119 facilities lacked management procedures for labeling hazardous waste.
  • The report also outlined wastewater and stormwater management issues, and found that 96 facilities failed to adequately monitor and control air emissions.
  • Apple found only one breach it labelled as a “core violation”: a supplier intentionally dumping waste cutting oil into a restroom receptacle.

Apple’s “responsibility policy” is online, here.