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A statement for ACER from Environmental Groups in Taiwan

4. 8. 2009 -
A statement for ACER from Environmental Groups in Taiwan

Environmental groups have been highly concerned about the impacts of electronic manufacturers on the
environment and society for a long time. Nevertheless, we hold a supportive attitude towards Acer’s
invitation of environmental groups to their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) communicative meeting,
scheduled to be held on the 28th of July. Acer has proved that it is making improvements compared with last
year’s closed-door preparation for their global CSR forum. Unfortunately, Acer has not been able to provide
data on the agenda of this meeting nor have they responded to environmental groups’ questions raised in last
year’s pre-meeting protest. In addition, we do not think it is appropriate that Acer has left no room for
changing the communication format of the meeting. Furthermore, we disagree with Acer’s decision to send
representatives of lower levels of management to participate in the meeting. Concerned environmental
groups do not think that such arrangements can fulfill the purpose of having significant constructive
communication.

We therefore chose to be absent from the meeting and issue this statement as the response, calling on Acer
to respond to the following requisition with substantive explanations, to therefore prompt a focused
discussion, and to proceed toward the real CSR goal:

1. In order to build up communication with mutual trust, Acer must, first of all, respond to every single
question proposed by environmental groups last December, instead of reacting to stakeholders’ opinions
selectively. For example, in the CSR forum held by Acer last year, Acer’s Chairman J. T. Wang mentioned
that Chunghwa Picture Tubes, one of the polluters in the Siaoli River incident, is not one of their suppliers.
However, Acer has not provided their opinion toward the other polluter AUO yet.

Our Three Major Questions:
(1) For how long will Acer’s suppliers continue to pollute Taiwan?
(2) Is meeting the environmental regulatory requirements equal to zero-pollution? And how long will
the false claim that meeting regulatory requirements mean zero pollution continue?
(3) When will Acer follow the example of HP (Hewlett-Packard) and disclose its production process and
supply chains?

Five demands of environmental obligation:
(1) Acer must be held accountable for the environment damage caused by its suppliers and Acer must
end contracts with these suppliers now!
(2) Acer must assume the responsibility of auditing its suppliers and ensuring that its suppliers cease
toxic contamination of local environments and communities.
(3) Acer must do more and at the very least catch-up to HP in its full disclosure of its supply chains.
(4) Meeting regulatory requirements on paper by no means equates meeting CSR standards.
Acer
should work with local stakeholders to press the Taiwanese government for more comprehensive and
holistic environmental regulations, operational procedures, and the implementation of standards.
(5) Acer must stop corporate greenwash and become a genuine green corporation!
2.
We firmly believe that Acer, as one of the leading PC vendors in both Taiwan and the world, has an

unavoidable responsibility to advocate and push for improvements in the regulatory framework mentioned

below. Acer should work together with local groups:

--To develop a mechanism for comprehensive environmental impact assessments and to assist in the
creation of a due process for civil society’s involvement.

--To initiate the revision of the Taiwanese government’s information disclosure rules and to upgrade

the industrial pollution information guide with pollution maps.

--To assist in the revision of government regulation on the management of hazardous chemicals and to

implement a transparent reporting system for the use of new chemicals, as well as a process for the

risk assessment of those chemicals;

--To assist in the formulation of responsible management standards regarding industrial wastewater,

air pollution, liquid substances, as well as to promote the reduction of hazardous emissions by the

high-tech industries.

--To assist in the creation of the Environmental Responsibility Liability Act whereby polluters are responsible

for the publication of safety advisories and reports.

3. Acer should explain the actions they have taken in the past six months based on the above requisition,
including their preliminary results of communication with suppliers, practices of information disclosure

and Electric Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) code of conduct, actions intended and taken for

improving the legal framework of environmental protection, and its timeline for future practices.

Pending the completion of these requisites, an encompassing meeting can be justified in a constructive

and meaningful approach.

According to the New York Times, Acer has expanded fast and effectively in the world market. Yet despite

being one of the largest computer manufactures, they’ve earned a reputation for lacking green initiative,

producing far fewer laptops bearing the EPEAT environmental label compared to competitors. Furthermore,

Acer’s major rivals Hewlett-Packard and Dell have already disclosed their lists of suppliers around the

world. If Acer intends to show their sincerity in taking corporate social responsibility, then they must

seriously heed the words of local environmental groups.

Taiwan Environmental Action Network
Green Citizens' Action Alliance
Wild at Heart Defense Association
Green Formosa Front Association
Hsin-Chu City Environmental Protect Association

Clean Hsinchu Foundation

Taiwan Environmental Protection Union-Changhua Division

Taiwan Watch Institute

Houli Township Agriculture & Environmental Protection Association

The Society of Wilderness

Taiwan Environmental Protection Union

The Homemakers’ Union & Foundation

Green Party Taiwan

 

 
 
 
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