Apple held talks with Chinese environmental groups

Chinese environmental groups previously criticized Apple for pollution caused by suppliers

Apple held talks with Chinese environmental groups earlier this month after the U.S. tech giant was criticized for using manufacturers accused of polluting the environment in China.

The Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE), a group based in Beijing, said it held the talks with Apple following a request made by the company. IPE called the initiation of talks a positive sign, given that it was the first time Apple had responded to the environmental groups' concerns about the company's suppliers.

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In the past, IPE and other groups have released reports accusing Apple of failing to monitor the work conditions and manufacturing processes used by its various suppliers in China. The latest report, released in August, went as far to link the pollution emitted from two suppliers with a rise in cancer rates in residents living nearby.

IPE said it held talks twice with Apple, the second time with the company's supply chain management. While Apple did not specifically address all of the concerns the environmental groups made, the company said it would continue to communicate and collaborate with them, according to Wang Jing Jing, vice director for IPE.

"In the future, we will listen to what they have to say and we will see how they will move forward," Wang said. "Our goal is that they will really work to improve the supply chain management."

Apple did not respond to a request for comment. The company has previously reiterated its commitment to driving its suppliers to meet environmental standards. Apple has said it regularly conducts audits of its suppliers and works with them to correct violations.

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