Chinese joint ventures with global corporations such as Panasonic, Pepsi-Cola
and Nestle are among 33 multinational companies that various levels of
government have blacklisted for causing water pollution, according to a
The Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs which has compiled a list
of more than 2,700 serious polluters on its website at www.ipe.org.cn said,
however, that pollution by domestic companies is even more severe.
Ma Jun, director of the institute, said he collated information released by
environmental watchdogs during the past three years, but this is the first time
such a list has been compiled.
"I was very surprised to see well-known names in global business listed as
water polluters in China," Ma said.
Some of the companies listed are joint ventures with the world's top 500
Panasonic Battery (Shanghai) Co Ltd was named by the local environmental
protection bureau in June this year and also last year for releasing wastewater
not sufficiently treated.
Pepsi-Cola International (Changchun) Co Ltd was criticized for a similar
reason in 2005.
Nestle Sources Shanghai Ltd's bottled water manufacturing plant also made the
list for starting operation before its wastewater treatment facilities had
passed an environmental impact assessment.
"These are only some of the water pollution violations committed by
multinational companies in China, since our website has yet to cover information
about air and solid waste pollution," Ma said.
"The parent companies in their home countries are models for environmental
protection. But they have slackened their efforts in China."
Ma blamed the companies' pursuit of profits but also said China's weak law
enforcement and public supervision left loopholes that invite violations.
This is the first time the public has come to know the companies are
violators, he said, because official websites contained only sporadic
information about polluters.
However, when Southern Weekend, a Guangzhou-based newspaper, checked with
those companies, most of them reportedly justified the violations as
"accidents," "oversight" or "having no alternatives."