Apple will allow third-party environmental inspectors to examine two of its supplier’s factories and inspections could begin as early as March, the founder of the Chinese Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE) Ma Jun told USA Today recently. It is unclear which suppliers the inspectors will audit, but at least 24 of Apple’s suppliers were named in two IPE’s environmental reports that were published last year. Apple admitted to employing seven of those firms, including Meiko Electronics, Foxconn, Unimicron, Ibiden Electronics, Wintek, Compeq and Nan Ya Printed Circuit Board.
Apple’s suppliers are consistently under fire for poor working conditions and for violating local Chinese pollution laws. However, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has tried to sway the public view in favor of its suppliers by asking the Fair Labor Association to inspect several facilities, including Foxconn’s factories and dorms. The audits don’t appear to be going well so far, though. The Fair Labor Association’s CEO said late last week that Foxconn already has “tons of issues,” and that there will be “very significant announcements” in the future. It remains unclear what those announcements will entail.
ABC’s Nightline will air a special tour inside one of Foxconn’s Chinese plans on Tuesday night at 11:35 p.m. EST.
[via The Verge]