Apple Ranked Dead Last on Pollution, Workplace Safety in China Apple Slammed by Chinese Environmental Groups

Apple ranks dead last in supply chain transparency in China. Are they hypocrites or just being singled out?

A coalition of environmental groups ranks Apple dead last in terms of pollution and workplace safety among a list of multinational technology corporations operating in China. Apple's poor performance in the rankings is based in part on the company's refusal to cooperate with the study. In essence these rankings measure the transparency of supply chains as much as anything else.

The Financial Times and others quote Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, a leading Chinese NGO and the main author of the report, as saying: “Apple behaved differently from the other big brands and seemed totally complacent and unresponsive.”

The Institute for Public and Environmental Affairs is a coalition of 36 environmental groups in China. ChinaCSR reports,"since its founding in May 2006, the IPE has developed two pollution databases to monitor corporate environmental performance and to facilitate public participation in environmental governance." The group stands as a symbol of nascent public awareness and civic engagement on environmental issues in China.

In the rankings, the S-companies seemed to do well: Samsung, Sony, and Siemens scored at the top of the list. Meanwhile, Nokia, LG, and Ericsson were criticized along with Apple.

One reason Apple fared particularly poorly, and possibly one reason Apple was unresponsive, is the case of employee poisoning at Apple contractor Wintek, based in Taiwan. In that case as many as 60 workers were poisoned by a chemical used to clean LCD touchscreens like those on iPhones and iPads. The case was widely publicized in Chinese media, and 44 employees have sued Apple for lingering debilitating illnesses. They say Apple has yet to respond to their claims. The Guardian reports that while other firms have responded to the IPE rankings, Apple remains silent.

This is not the first disappointing eco-news regarding Apple. Last year the company opted out of a British plan to rank cell phones on environmental criteria, presumably because the iPhone would have done poorly.

One defense for Apple in this ranking is that they themselves aren't the ones operating unsafe workplaces or polluting factories because Apple uses subcontracts in China like Wintek. That's no excuse. Even if subcontractors themselves subcontract to other suppliers, as is common with many companies operating in China, it is still no excuse. Apple, like any multinational company, has an ethical responsibility to institute rigorous safety standards, transparent auditing practices, and active oversight from end to end of its supply chain. That is the aim of reports like this one from the IPE, but reforming supply chains in China will be a long, hard slog.


This article was produced in partnership with the United Nations to launch the biggest-ever global conversation on the role of cooperation in building the future we want.

When half of the world's population doesn't share the same opportunity or rights as the other half, the whole world suffers. Like a bird whose wings require equal strength to fly, humanity will never soar to its full potential until we achieve gender equality.

That's why the United Nations made one of its Sustainable Development Goals to "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls." That goal includes providing women and girls equal access to education and health care, as well as addressing gender-based discrimination and violence against women and girls.

While there is still much work to be done, history shows us that we are capable of making big leaps forward on this issue. Check out some of the milestones humanity has already reached on the path to true equality.

Historic Leaps Toward Gender Equality

1848 The Seneca Falls Convention in New York, organized by Elizabeth Lady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, is the first U.S. women's convention to discuss the oppression of women in sociopolitical, economic, and religious life.

1893 New Zealand becomes the first self-governing nation to grant national voting rights to women.

1903 Marie Curie becomes the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. She is also the only woman to win multiple Nobel Prizes, for Physics in 1903 and Chemistry in 1911.

1920 The 19th Amendment is passed in the U.S. giving women the right to vote in all 50 U.S. states.

1973 The U.S. Open becomes the first major sports tournament of its kind to offer equal pay to women, after tennis star Billie Jean King threatened to boycott.

1975 The first World Conference on Women is held in Mexico, where a 10-year World Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women is formed. The first International Women's Day is commemorated by the UN in the same year.

1979 The UN General Assembly adopts the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), also known as the "Women's Bill of Rights." It is the most comprehensive international document protecting the rights of women, and the second most ratified UN human rights treaty after the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

1980 Vigdis Finnbogadottir of Iceland becomes the first woman to be elected head of state in a national election.

1993 The UN General Assembly adopts the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, the first international instrument to explicitly define forms of violence against women and lay out a framework for global action.

2010 The UN General Assembly creates the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) to speed progress on meeting the needs of women and girls around the world.

2018 The UN and European Union join forces on the Spotlight Initiative, a global, multi-year initiative focused on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.

As the UN celebrates its 75th anniversary, it is redoubling its commitment to reach all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including gender equality. But it will take action and effort from everyone to ensure that women and girls are free from discrimination and violence. Learn more about what is being done to address gender equality and see how you can get involved here.

And join the global conversation about the role of international cooperation in building the future by taking the UN75 survey here.

Let's make sure we all have a say in the future we want to see.

via WFMZ / YouTube

John Perez was acquitted on Friday, February 21, for charges stemming from an altercation with Allentown, Pennsylvania police that was caught on video.

Footage from September 2018 shows an officer pushing Perez to the ground. After Perez got to his feet, multiple officers kicked and punched him in an attempt to get him back on the ground.

Perez claims he was responding to insults hurled at him by the officers. The police say that Perez was picking a fight. The altercation left Perez with a broken nose, scrapes, swelling, and bruises from his hips to his shoulder.

Keep Reading

According to Investopedia, skrinkflation is "is the practice of reducing the size of a product while maintaining its sticker price. Raising the price per given amount is a strategy employed by companies, mainly in the food and beverage industries, to stealthily boost profit margins."

Keep Reading