Last year, various headlines stemmed from claims out of China by an active and prominent body of environmental watchdogs. These claims had Apple was being reckless with regard to its Asian operations and the environmental damage allegedly resulting from them.
People in most Asian countries do not give much importance of hygiene, cleanliness and environment. However, when a company based in a Western or European country is accused of damaging the environment, they are up in arms, ignoring the fact that their own lifestyle damages the environment more than the commercial activities of Western companies.
What a difference a year makes?
Responding to the claims and criticisms, Apple will conduct a pollution-management audit of one of its component suppliers, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported this past Monday. The inspection is scheduled to take place in the coming weeks and the results will be made public. This shows that Apple has a big heart and it is ready to take steps to save an environment that is damaged more by those people who are accusing Apple of causing environmental damage. But who can reason with these stubborn and close-minded people? Nobody!
A Chinese representative for the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs said, “We think they have changed a lot, especially that they are opening up and allowing an audit like this. It’s a good start and a good change, but we will watch closely to see what happens and if they maintain this more open attitude.”
The audit comes as Apple has taken steps to provide greater transparency about the working conditions and environmental impact of the Chinese factories that supply the components for manufacturing its popular iPhones, iPads and laptop computers.
Across the board, environmental groups and activists in China say they detected a perceptible difference in how Apple has done business in the last twelve months. This reality likely stems back to Tim Cook’s stated commitment to keep his company accountable both to its overseas workers and the environments in which they labor.