Apple just posted its 2012 Supplier Responsibility Report highlighting its efforts to audit and improve working conditions within its supply chain. As part of the report, Apple also posted a list of 156 companies currently supplying components for Apple products that make up over 97 percent of all “procurement expenditures for materials, manufacturing, and assembly” of its entire product line globally.

The list includes Toshiba Mobile display, which is —as far as we know—currently not supplying displays for Apple. There were rumors in May that claimed Toshiba was working on a 4-inch retina display and rumors last month that Apple and Toshiba are building a plant for display production, which were later debunked by the increasingly unreliable DigiTimes. It also includes Sharp, who was recently rumored to be ruled out of iPad 3-panel production due to quality concerns but also supplies other components to Apple. The full list is available after the break.

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.

Every year Apple audits suppliers in eight areas including: Anti-discrimination, Fair treatment, Prevention of involuntary labor, Prevention of underage labor, Juvenile worker protections, Working hours, Wages and benefits, and Freedom of association. The overall results can be seen in the graphic below. We also learned than Apple found 42 facilities delayed wages, 68 facilities did not provide proper benefits, and 67 facilities held back payments as punishment.

There were also 108 facilities failing to pay legal requirements for overtime and holiday pay, and 5 facilities with 6 active cases of underage labor, to which Apple is requiring the suppliers “support the young workers’ return to school and to improve its management systems.”

In the audits, Apple found 93 facilities currently have more than 50 percent of its staff exceeding the maximum 60 hour workweek (with one day of rest per 7 days) set by Apple’s Code of Conduct for suppliers:

93 facilities had records that indicated more than 50 percent of their workers exceeded weekly working hour limits of 60 in at least 1 week out of the 12 sample period. At 90 facilities, more than half of the records we reviewed indicated that workers had worked more than 6 consecutive days at least once per month, and 37 facilities lacked an adequate working day control system to ensure that workers took at least 1 day off in every 7 days.

The report also mentioned the special auditing program set up to address environmental concerns in China raised by third-party environmental organizations in 2011. It even noted that over 60,000 workers are now participating in Apple’s Free of Charge education program to teach English and business skills. Apple also collaborated with local schools to allow courses that count towards earning an associate degree. The full list of suppliers below of course does not include companies like ARM and Imagination Technologies that technically only provide IP to Apple.

Apple also announced today (via Bloomberg) that it would allow the Fair Labor Association access to its supplier’s facilities to monitor working conditions. Apple’s Senior Vice President of Operations Jeff Williams said the following in a press release:

“We’re extremely proud to be the first technology company admitted to the FLA. Last year we performed more than 200 audits at our supplier’s facilities around the world. With the benefit of the FLA’s experience and expertise, we will continue to drive improvements for workers and provide even greater transparency into our supply chain.”

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s