Apple details supply chain progress in annual accountability report
Apple released its annual Supplier Responsibility Report for 2021 on Friday, offering detailed information on workforce, health, education and environmental initiatives across the supply chain. manufacturing process.
Covering progress made in FY2020, this year’s report (PDF link) provides a top-down overview of the activities of Apple’s sprawling suppliers in Asia and, to a lesser extent, to United States.
The report begins by highlighting figures in four key areas: labor and human rights; health, safety and education; the environment; and supplier performance. For example, Apple has listed more than 470 labor agencies in ten countries classified as “high risk” for labor and human rights violations. The tech giant also polled 254,265 employees at vendor facilities about their work experience – a fraction of the estimated millions who work at partners like Foxconn.
When it comes to health, safety and education, Apple notes that it was the first consumer electronics company to receive the EPA Safer Choice Partner of the Year award and claims that approximately 1.98 million he supplier employees have been affected by its health and wellness education program.
In 2020, Apple assessed 842 suppliers and 279 smelters and refineries in 53 countries. All tin, tantalum, tungsten, gold, cobalt and lithium smelters and refineries – a segment often cited for human and labor rights violations – have been subject to third-party audits, Apple said.
Finally, Apple’s environmental initiatives were once again touted, with the company noting that more than 100 vendors have pledged to make 100% renewable energy products. More than 900,000 annualized metric tonnes of carbon equivalent have been avoided in the supply chain through energy efficiency efforts, while similar programs have diverted 400,000 metric tonnes of waste from landfills.
Sabih Khan, who heads Apple’s global supply chain, said in a statement that COVID-19 poses new challenges for the iPhone maker’s employee equity efforts. Nevertheless, the company was able to conduct audits, hold suppliers accountable and inform employees of their rights.
“A global focus on people’s health has not distracted us from the essential work of holding ourselves accountable to the highest standards of labor and human rights,” writes Khan. “In the rare event that our standards were not met, we have acted swiftly to provide remedies to all concerned – and in some cases, to suspend our activities with suppliers while we take steps to prevent these violations do not recur in the future. Responsibility remains a crucial pillar of our work and an important driver of our progress. “
For fiscal 2020, Apple recorded just nine so-called “core violations” of its supplier code of conduct, up from 17 in 2019 and 27 in 2018. Violators must immediately address the issue, according to the report. changes in leadership and taking preventative measures. measures to ensure that the violation does not recur.
Today’s disclosure comes less than a month after an explosive report revealed potential links between Apple’s suppliers and forced labor programs suspected of being part of an alleged Chinese genocide against the Uyghurs. A U.S. lawmaker called on CEO Tim Cook to clarify Apple’s relationship with reported offenders by June 15.