Tag Archive for ‘China’
In an excerpt from their new book, two senior McKinsey consultants argue that rather than facing a crisis because of natural resource scarcity, businesses confront an opportunity that will reframe the world’s economy and create opportunities for trillions of dollars in profits.
The Fair Labor Association said a nearly month-long investigation of three factories operated by Apple’s major Chinese supplier “revealed serious and pressing noncompliances” with FLA standards as well as Chinese labor law. The findings called for a detailed set of remedial measures to protect employee health and safety, reduce worker hours to legal limits while protecting worker pay, and establish “genuine avenues” for workers to provide input on company decisions.
The World Bank reports that the number of people living below the $1.25-a-day poverty line declined from 52% of the population of the developing world in 1981 to 22% in 2008. But nearly 649 million of those who moved above the poverty line had a standard of living that was nevertheless below what would be defined as “poor” in middle-income developing countries and far below that of rich countries.
A 2012 study from the University of Twente (The Netherlands) published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “The Water Footprint of Humanity,” quantifies water consumption and pollution for all countries, including water resources used as part of international trade, to establish a full picture of global water use.
The Fair Labor Association, founded in 1999, is a group of companies, civil society organizations and colleges and universities. It monitors factories in the supply chains of affiliated companies to assess compliance with FLA standards and requirements.
Apple Inc.’s announcement Feb. 13 that it has asked the Fair Labor Association to conduct “special voluntary audits” of working conditions at the plants of Chinese suppliers follows a growing wave of unaccustomed adverse publicity toward the consumer electronics giant.
Apple Inc., facing criticism over working conditions at Chinese plants of its major assembly suppliers, particularly Foxconn, said the Fair Labor Association will conduct “special voluntary audits” at Apple’s request. “The inspections now underway are unprecedented in the electronics industry, both in scale and scope, and we appreciate the FLA agreeing to take the unusual step of identifying the factories in their reports,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Recent media reports have put the spotlight on abusive working conditions at Foxconn, the Taiwanese company whose massive Chinese factories manufacture some of the world’s most popular consumer electronics. As well as working with companies like Dell, Motorola, Nokia and Hewlett-Packard, Foxconn assembles popular Apple products like the iPhone and iPad.
Undeterred by the Japanese nuclear disaster, Obama pledged just two weeks following the initial explosions at the Fukushima Dai-ichi facility that nuclear power should be revived in the U.S., as it provides “electricity without adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.”
Keld Jensen argues that yesterday’s moral compass no longer points in the direction of today’s business ethics solutions – and that relativity may apply as much to business ethics as to physics. “Times have changed,” he writes. “As businesses operate in an increasingly globalized world, ethical conduct is no longer an absolute standard.”