The Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE), a group based in Beijing, said on Monday Apple agreed to the joint audit, which will be carried out at the end of this month at a manufacturer of printed circuit boards.
IPE will be working with Apple and an auditing firm hired to investigate the supplier's pollution controls, said Wang Jing Jing, vice director for the Chinese environmental group. The results will later be made available online by IPE.
The group considers this audit a pilot project since its only for one factory at this time; however, Wang is hopeful that Apple will agree to more audits in the future.
"We think this is a very positive step made by Apple," she said. "We hope this won't simply be a pilot project, but that more open inspections will continue."