A pollution blacklist has been issued by the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs , a Chinese NGO. The list includes 33 multinational corporations in China, five of which are Fortune 500 companies, including a subsidiary of Panasonic, Changchun Pepsico, and Nestle Sources Shanghai.
"These multinational corporations have broken China's basic regulations for environment protection," said Ma Jun, the director of the Citizens and Environment Research Center and listed by Times magazine in 2006 as one of "100 People Who Shape our World".
Some very well-known companies have been blacklisted for pollution, such as Kao Chemical Corporation Shanghai, a joint-venture enterprise of American Standard Companies and Shanghai Pizza Hut belonging to Yum! Brands and so on.
Some multinational corporations in China are major polluters of the local environment. In Fujian, a province in China's southeast, a company invested on by Germany's NOELL Group is now under the supervision of the provincial government after failing to establish facilities to deal with pollution.
In Hunan, an enterprise belonging to Yamaha became a heavy pollutant after experiencing difficulty with a product line of electroplates.
"These are just parts of multinational corporations that have broken environmental regulations in China," said Ma Jun. The blacklist is based solely on water pollution; it does not take into account air or solid waste pollution.
Explanations from multinational corporations
A spokesperson from the subsidiary company of Panasonic said that the pollution was coincidental and that excessive organic matter in the water was temporary.
American Standard Companies admitted that negligence was the cause of pollution. An engineer from the company said that waste water was discharged because the pipes had been broken by cold overnight weather.
Kao Chemical Corporation Shanghai explained that the pollution was caused by an unexpected accident during the production process.
Nestle Sources Shanghai claims not to have haven't breached pollution regulations.
However, these explanations aren't acceptable to environmentalists, who feel that these companies are shirking responsibility and failing to implement a proper waste management policy. The standard of environmental protection in some subsidiary companies of multinational corporations in China is obviously lower than their parent companies. Most of the multinational corporations on the blacklist dispute the different standards in environmental protection.
Some environmentalists are worried about the lack of supervision of multinational corporations. To attract foreign investment, some environmental protection departments have their powers limited by local governments. Furthermore, the State Environmental Protection Administration tends to pay less attention to multinational corporations than to China's domestic enterprises based on their good reputation and global standing.
Despite these problems, it is still widely acknowledged that multinational corporations in China are more environmentally responsible than domestic enterprises. More than 2,600 domestic enterprises create excessive pollution.
By People's Daily Online