The Chinese environmental group that will be auditing Apple's Chinese factories has praised Apple for arranging the audit. The group had previously criticised Apple for not co-operating on efforts to rein in pollution at its suppliers. The Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs and other Chinese environmental groups had also criticised Apple for allegedly failing to stop the environmental damage caused by its suppliers in China. Now the group has praised Apple for becoming "more transparent".

Apple and Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs plan to jointly audit one of Apple's supplier factories in China, in what could lead to more open inspections of Apple's suppliers for pollution concerns. The Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs said the joint audit will be carried out at the end of this month at a manufacturer of printed circuit boards. (More below) 

Officer Shen Xunan told Bloomberg that Apple’s decision to list its manufacturing partners  for the first time made it easier for environmental groups to obtain information from suppliers. “We are happy Apple is now opening its door,” Shen said. 

Apple released a list of 156 companies in January when it became the first technology company to join the Fair Labor Association. Apple’s refusal to disclose its manufacturing partners had made it difficult for the institute to demand improvements at the suppliers, Shen said.

Back in August the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs criticised Apple in a report, saying of the suppliers making Apple’s products: “The large volume of discharge in Apple's supply chain greatly endangers the public's health and safety".  

Apple CEO Tim Cook visited an iPhone production facility at Foxconn Technology Group during his visit to China last month. 

The results of the audit be made available online by IPE.