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Johnson Controls to remove lead-processing operations from Kangqiao battery plant

Johnson Controls, Inc. will remove lead-processing operations capabilities from its Kangqiao battery plant in response to the Shanghai Municipal government’s initiative to remove lead manufacturing from the community. The company will discontinue its attempts to resume any lead-processing production activities in the facility, and will remove associated equipment. Storage, labeling, prepping, and shipping of batteries manufactured in other facilities will continue.

In September 2011, lead contamination in the local community was attributed by some Chinese reports to Johnson Controls. Johnson Controls contested the reports, saying that its data showed that the plant is operating in full compliance with Chinese environmental regulations. (Earlier post.)

China is an important market and Johnson Controls is committed to supporting our customers in the China market. While we are disappointed with the local government’s position, and we stand by our environmental performance, we will continue to transparently work with governments and the industry to address environmental requirements. We are committed to assisting in the establishment of responsible performance standards across the industry while responding to the needs of our customers, our employees and the community.

—Alex Molinaroli, president, Johnson Controls Power Solutions

The operational change requires the company to reduce the size of the workforce.

Johnson Controls says that customers will not be impacted by this operational decision, as lead-processing manufacturing from the Kangqiao plant has already been redirected to other Johnson Controls facilities in China.

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