Get Apple to Hold Suppliers Accountable for Destroying China’s Environment

Target: Timothy D. Cook, Apple Inc., CEO

Goal:  Get Apple to supervise their suppliers and regularly monitor them for environmental standards.

Chinese environmental groups are criticizing Apple, the U.S. technology giant, for not enforcing environmental standards for its suppliers. Ri-Teng Computer Accessory is one of these Apple suppliers that manufactures parts for the iPad near Shanghai. Ri-Teng recently polluted a river in Shanghai by dumping large quantities of waste water used for cleaning processes, including cutting fluid and oil, down the company’s storm drain.  The river turned the color of milk and oily substances were found floating on its surface.

Apple has been widely criticized for poor environmental performance in the past as well as for poor worker safety conditions. Apple’s website says that it is committed to high standards of responsibility, including environmental responsibility and fair treatment for workers. Although Apple has made some progress in monitoring its suppliers, not enough has been done. Apple is still widely criticized by environmental groups for not responding to inquiries about pollution at factories in their supply chain in China. We must pressure Apple to monitor and audit all of its suppliers for environmental impact.

The recent incident in Shanghai highlights the difficulties in policing large international supply chains. However, large, multi-national companies like Apple have the responsibility to their consumers and their workers to manage waste effectively and minimize environmental damage. Consumers that use Apple’s  products have a responsibility to demand their products be assembled in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.


Dear Timothy Cook,

One of your suppliers in China recently heavily polluted a river by dumping cleaning agents down a storm drain. As a large multinational organization that supplies millions of consumers with technology devices, you have an obligation to the public to manage your suppliers to ensure that such environmental malpractice does not occur.

Apple has come under heavy criticism in the past by environmental groups for not responding to inquiries about pollution and workplace health hazards at your factories. The recent Shanghai incident indicates that you must do more to monitor your suppliers, including allowing all of them to be audited for their environmental practices.

Other technology companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Vodafone, Samsung, and Toshiba have made noticeable progress in supervising their manufacturing. The public demands that you perform environmental reviews of all of your suppliers and enforce requirements to comply with environmental regulations.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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One Comment

  1. J Davidson says:

    They are getting tax breaks and cheap labor from outsourcing, and they don’t want to spend on cleaning up the pollution. What more do they want?

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