Lifting the Veil on Polluters in China

View on The Global Environmental Justice site

Short synopsis
In central Beijing a small but ambitious environmental NGO is calling on major international corporations including Apple, Walmart and Hugo Boss, to take responsibility for suppliers who are fouling China's air and water as they produce goods for Western consumers.

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Longer synopsis
Founded in 2006, the Institute for Pollution and Environmental Affairs (IPE) prepared for its campaign by examining 200,000 pollution reports provided by China's Ministry of Environmental Protection. The ministry maintains a surprising policy of publishing its finding, even when the polluting factories are state owned.

Using this data the IPE prepared maps, accessible to anyone with access to the internet, pinpointing polluters. Polluting factories were that are linked to global corporations and the companies are put on notice: clean up your suppliers or risk exposure. When Apple failed repeatedly to respond to the IPE advisory, the IPE launched a "Poison Apple" campaign that embarrassed Appl, prompted a clean up and made Apple into a leading supporter of the project.

Now the group is pushing global corporations to reveal the full list of factories that produce goods for them in China, so that the IPE can monitor their clean up. They're also encouraging the public to help. Another campaign, shown in the video, will harness citizen scientists to keep an eye on polluters. A new app develloped by the IPE allows anyone with a phone to monitor their local factories to see whether they violate their operating permits.

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Main credits

Sam Lazaro, Fred de (film director)
Sam Lazaro, Fred de (film producer)
Sam Lazaro, Fred de (reporter)

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Advertising and Marketing
Asian Studies
Communication and Media Studies
Corporate Social Responsibility
Environmental Education
Environmental Health
Environmental Justice
International Studies
Norh American Studies
Public Health
Toxic Chemicals
Toxic Waste
United States


China, Ma Jun, Institute for Pollution and Environmental Affairs (IPE), supply chains, air and water pollution, fashion industry, corporate responsibility, transparency, clothing manufacturing, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Apple, WalMart, H&M, consumers, Fred de Sam Lazaro, Gary Marcuse, Global Environmental Justice Documentaries collection, Clean air and water, environmental ethics,; "Lifting the Veil on Polluters in China "; Global Environmental Justice

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