Apple attempting to clean up supply chain, report reveals

Apple has released its Supplier Responsibility Progress Report, revealing details of how the company has…...

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Apple has released its Supplier Responsibility Progress Report, revealing details of how the company has tackled human rights abuses and environmental impact in its supply chain during 2017.

The global computing and communications giant audited 756 faculties in 2017, resulting in a 35% increase in the number of suppliers classed as “high performing” against Apple’s ethical and environmental code of conduct. The report also revealed that over three million workers worldwide were given training on their human rights during 2017.

Apple’s supply chain employs thousands of people at hundreds of different sites around the world, manufacturing and assembling the components for Apple products including iPads, MacBooks and iPhones. The company admitted to finding 44 “core violations” among its suppliers in 2017, twice as many as were identified the previous year.

These violations included 38 cases of falsified work records, two cases of bonded labour, and two cases of children under the legal working age being employed in supply chain jobs. Apple released the children, aged 14 and 15, and sent them to the school of their choice with the promise of a full-time job when they reached working age.

Apple’s environmental impact has also improved according to the report, with a carbon emission reduction of 320,000 metric tonnes. The company also conserved 5.1 billion gallons of water.

Apple’s 12th annual supply chain review has attracted scrutiny, as the organisation has been criticised for its supply chain practices in recent years. In 2010 a series of suicides occurred among workers at Chinese plants run by Foxconn Technology Group, Apple’s main assemblers.

Apple COO Jeff Williams said in a statement that Apple believed everyone making its products deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. He added that the organisation was committed to raising the bar every year across its supply chain.

Nick Ford

Nick has over 30 years procurement experience in consulting, outsourcing and line roles within industry with international experience across many sectors and industries and led many procurement programs with blue chip organisations.

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