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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Apple opens talks about suppliers' 'pollution'

By Zhou Wenting (China Daily)

08:45, November 16, 2011

BEIJING - Even though Ma Danni has wanted an iPhone for quite some time, she says she now plans to postpone that long-planned purchase.

The reason for her hesitation? She recently learned that the device, produced by the technology giant Apple Inc, is made from components coming from suppliers suspected of releasing large amounts of pollutants.

"It's hard for me to give up the fancy designs and functions of Apple products," said the 34-year-old Beijing resident. "But I'm going to give the company some time for it to repair the harm it has done to the environment before I buy an Apple product."

For nearly two years, five Chinese environmental organizations have worked together to help make sure electronics companies' supply chains are managed with an eye toward protecting the environment and to encourage consumers to choose "green" products.

Apple, long the target of critics who contend its suppliers are harming the environment and people's health, met with delegates from the five environmental groups on Tuesday. The occasion let the company discuss its commitment to containing pollutants being released by its suppliers.

"We appreciate the large step Apple took away from dodging its duty and toward attaching importance to this issue," said Feng Yongfeng, founder of the Beijing-based Green Beagle, one of the five environmental organizations.

"We expect to see the more sophisticated management that Apple has said it will make its suppliers subject to," said Li Bo, executive director of Friends of Nature, another advocate group.

"And we hope the company will play a role in world leadership and assume its social responsibilities."

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