Apple finally disclose supplier information:
This Friday, Apple published their 2012 “Supplier Responsibility Progress Report” which contains data from 229 audits taken from their supply chain in 2011. This figure is up from 127 audits conducted 2010.
In light of major issues reported about the Apple supply chain over the last few years, and a whole host of human labour rights and environmental practices of these companies, Apple has now finally published a list of suppliers that are involved with the manufacture of the iPhone, iPad and other devices that Cupertino design in California and manufacture in China. (by and large).
It makes for interesting reading and goes some way to showing Apple in a better light and understandably it is good to see that the company have indeed moved towards better ethics, this is not to excuse Apples bad choice of certain suppliers, and with the serious issues that have been going on in some of these places it is difficult to excuse.
Apples commitment to social responsibility:
Apple is committed to driving the highest standards for social responsibility throughout our supply base. We require that our suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes wherever Apple products are made.
The results of the report:
On reading the report it can be seen that the Apple Supplier Code of Conduct is essentially disregarded on many many occasions, this has to be an issue that Apple address and some would say that this has taken too long, we all know corporations can hide behind all manner of cloaks when it suits, and it would be pretty difficult to believe that no one at Apple knew nothing about these breaches of pretty key operating policies.
Apple Supplier Code of Conduct
The report highlighted many areas, and at 26 pages long, I am only summarizing what was said, suffice to say every part of Apple’s code of conduct was broken in some way or another at various times. Here are some main points from various sections:
There are a number of ethical violations committed by Apple suppliers according to the report and these include falsifying audit information, rosters, unsavory behavior towards foreign workers and other generally bad practices that are not nice to hear about in the workplace.
Problems found at Apple suppliers in the report range from poor disposal of hazardous material to a lack of proper environmental impact assessments, air emissions, and other areas, it was seen that many of the suppliers in the audit appear to have breached various guidelines from the Apple Supplier Code of Conduct
Worker Heath and Safety:
Explosions that killed 4 at the Foxconn factory and another explosion at the Ri-Teng (a subsidiary of Pegatron) factory which injured scores, highlighted that there was a flagrant disregard to the health and safety of staff who worked with combustible materials and dust, and supplied Apple with key componenets.
Apple have gone on to say that they have worked with Foxconn who are a major supplier to Apple and have put in place various measures to help staff and the company comply better with Apples code.
Too little too late?
Taking a look at the amount of audits taken place over the last 5 years, it is quite shameful considering the attention that the Apple supply chain has had over issues such as worker rights, suicide and health and safety, that it has taken so long to finally do this PR..ahem, supply chain audit exercise, now they have got to the dizzy heights of success that they obviously wanted to achieve with the iPhone and iPad.
What do you think to Apples eventual audit report?
You can read the full Apple report here:Anthony Munns