Apple: the dark side
Posted by Charles II on January 19, 2011
Apple makes many great products. But there’s a dark side. It can only say it’s a green company because it outsources its pollution. Jonathan Watts, The Guardian:
Apple is more secretive over its supply chain than nearly all of its rivals, says a report from leading Chinese environment groups.
Apple is more secretive about its supply chain in China than almost all of its rivals, according to a new report by anti-pollution activists who accuse the company’s products of degrading the environment and poisoning workers.
Despite its claim to be a leading promoter of corporate ethics worldwide, the maker of iPads and iPhones came joint bottom among 29 major IT firms in a transparency study drawn up by a coalition of China’s leading environmental groups.
“Behind their stylish image, Apple products have a side many do not know about – pollution and poison. This side is hidden deep within the company’s secretive supply chain,” claims a statement by the 36 groups involved in the Green Choice Initiative.
Their report – the fourth to look at the impact of global brands on China’s environment – considers the openness of IT firms and their responsiveness to reports of environmental violations at suppliers.
It follows a series of workplace poisonings, heavy metal contamination incidents and suicides at Chinese factories that supply materials and components for mobile phones and computers….
Hewlett Packard, British Telecom, Samsung, Sony, Siemens and Alcatel were credited as being the most responsive to third-party inquiries about alleged environmental violations.
Computers in general are a dirty industry. Heavy metals. Gold. Nasty acids. Petroleum-based plastics. And they are huge hogs of electrical power. It’s a shame Apple isn’t using some of its new wealth to lay up some treasure in heaven.
The Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs asks that you write to Apple at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Added: Though if n-hexane is the culprit in some of these cases of illness, I'd worry more about a fire than anything else. The stuff is a light fraction of gasoline. You'd have to have a very heavy exposure to cause nerve damage].
Update: The story has hit the Financial Times.
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