Last week we revealed a scathing report from China Labor Watch (CLW) who published an investigative report detailing the labor violations of three factories of Pegatron Group, a major supplier to Apple for their new mid-level report. Pegatron was accused of labor violations in order to increase their competitive edge with Apple. Today another report has surfaced detailing Chinese regulators who are now actively scrutinizing two of Apple's suppliers Foxconn and Unimicron for pumping large amounts of toxic heavy metals into nearby rivers. The allegations of such activity were reported on by five non-profit environmental groups.
The five environmental groups alleged that the factories are emptying polluted water into the Huangcangjing and Hanputang rivers, which feed into the Yangtze and Huangpu rivers. The Yangtze and Huangpu supply the sprawling metropolis of Shanghai with much of its water. The allegations center on two canals in a northern industrial part of Kunshan that carry wastewater from the factories to the rivers.
The groups also alleged that a community next to one of the runoff canals had an elevated incidence of cancer. The Chinese government reportedly relocated the community in 2011.
The vice director of the local arm of China's environmental regulator Ding Yudong has recently stated that "it could take a considerable amount of time, and that any violations could result in tough penalties." He emphasized that "If you're severely exceeding emissions standards, then we will punish you."
Foxconn denies the allegations. In a recent statement that company stated that it "complies with emissions standards and that its emissions have been processed in accordance with all relevant government laws and environmental regulations." The company further stated that there are other companies in the same industrial park that discharge wastewater into the same rivers.
An Apple spokeswoman said Apple has been working closely with suppliers and one of the environmental groups to ensure the company's environmental standards are being met. Apple regularly audits its suppliers and doesn't tolerate environmental violations, she added.