Last year, a barrage of headlines stemmed from claims out of China by an active and prominent body of environmental watchdogs that Apple was being reckless with regard to its Asian operations and the environmental damage allegedly resulting from them.
What a difference a year makes.
Responding to the claims and criticisms, Apple will conduct a pollution-management audit of one of its component suppliers, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. The inspection is scheduled to take place in the coming weeks and the results will be made public.
"We think they have changed a lot, especially that they are opening up and allowing an audit like this," said a Chinese representative for the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs. "It's a good start and a good change, but we will watch closely to see what happens and if they maintain this more open attitude."
The audit comes as Apple has taken steps to provide greater transparency about the working conditions and environmental impact of the Chinese factories that supply the components for manufacturing its popular iPhones, iPads and laptop computers.