Apple Releases 2012 Supplier Responsibility Progress Report and Supplier List

The stream of environmental and labor rights news from Apple continues today with the company's release of its annual Supplier Responsibility Progress Report for 2012. The report details efforts to oversee working conditions and environmental responsibility at its suppliers around the world, and notes that the company conducted 229 audits during 2011 for an 80% increase over 2010's auditing levels.

In 2011, we conducted 229 audits throughout our supply chain — an 80 percent increase over 2010 — including more than 100 first-time audits. We continue to expand our program to reach deeper into our supply base, and this year we added more detailed and specialized audits that focus on safety and the environment.

The company notes that in 2011 it began a dedicated environmental auditing process to supplement the environmental checks that had previously been included in the standard auditing procedure. According to the company, third-party environmental engineering experts helped conduct audits at fourteen different facilities, and some violations were found.

apple supplier responsibilty statement
Full details on the auditing results, including summaries of the various violations discovered in environmental and other areas, are available in the complete report (PDF).

Apple for the first time also published a list of 156 suppliers (PDF) representing 97% of the company's procurement expenditures. While no details on each company's role in Apple's supply chain is offered in the document, merely identifying the supply chain offers some improvement in transparency for the secretive company.

Update: The Wall Street Journal has a story on Apple's disclosures, including quotes from CEO Tim Cook.

"I have spent a lot of time in factories over my lifetime and we are clearly leading in this area," said Mr. Cook, previously Apple's chief operating officer who oversaw its supply chain. "It is like innovating in products. You can focus on things that are barriers or you can focus on scaling the wall or redefining the problem." [...]

The report found 108 facilities didn't pay proper overtime wages and 93 facilities had records that indicated more than 50% of their workers exceeded the 60-hour work week. The audits also found 5 facilities had incidents of underage labor.

"Working hours is a complex issue," said Mr. Cook, adding he's confident the company can improve in the area by "monitoring these plants at a very, very micro level."

"I know this is a journey," Mr. Cook said.

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Top Rated Comments

langis.elbasunu Avatar
163 months ago
corning glass is not on the list of suppliers

that should put the gorilla glass rumors to rest, no?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
M-O Avatar
163 months ago
Exactly, damage control. Though I know it will never happen, it would be great if they would share the results of these audits.

did you read the article?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ZipZapRap Avatar
163 months ago
I think it's very telling about our Western society in general, that topics like this on Macrumors, get a couple of pages comment at most, yet talk about anything related to the tech, Android, whatever, and you get 10-20 pages.

Very sad.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gnasher729 Avatar
163 months ago
Exactly, damage control. Though I know it will never happen, it would be great if they would share the results of these audits.
Well, Apple just did. And after reading their report, "damage control" seems to me a malicious misinterpretation of what Apple is doing.

Apple doing a good job of covering their asses.
Same here. I'd say Apple doing a good job helping employees who have been exploited by agencies (forcing suppliers to pay $3.3 million dollars this year to such employees), forcing employers to uphold basic worker rights, even when not required by their country's law, and even for workers not involved with Apple products, and forcing employers to stop damaging the environment.

Good to see, but what Apple can do here is rather limited.
How is it limited? Obviously Apple can't force them to do anything, but Apple can and does say: "Behave appropriately, or you are not going to do any business with Apple anymore". And in several cases they said: "You didn't behave appropriately, so our business with you is finished".
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mccldwll Avatar
163 months ago
Exactly, damage control. Though I know it will never happen, it would be great if they would share the results of these audits.

Huh? Read for comprehension. Those stories were about xbox workers. The audit result has been in preparation and has been released.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gnasher729 Avatar
163 months ago
And the suppliers will say "good-by, I'll make stuff for Widowz and Android instead. If you want us to meet these conditions, you (Apple) will have to pay us more for our products to cover the cost difference".

Making the assumption that they would find other customers. Imagine Greenpeace saying "why is company X using Y as a supplier, when Apple cancelled their contract with Y because they are exploiting their employees and destroying the environment"?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)