supplier responsibility Stories March 30, 2016

Apple issues 2016 supplier responsibility report w/ supply chain + environmental data & more

Apple has released its 2016 supplier responsibility progress report including a new letter from recently named COO Jeff Williams detailing Apple’s commitment to the people who create its products.

supplier responsibility Stories January 7, 2016

In a radio interview on the syndicated show Conversations on Health Care, Apple COO Jeff Williams said that the reason Apple has come under attack for the use of child labor in its supply chain is that the company actively goes out looking for it. Other companies, he said, simply keep their heads down.

No company wants to talk about child labor. They don’t want to be associated with that. We shine a light on it. We go out and search for cases where an underage worker is found in a factory somewhere and then we take drastic actions with the supplier and the labor groups to try and make a change.

Then we report it publicly every year. We take a lot of heat for that. But we think the only way to make change is to go hit it head-on and talk about it.

Apple has come under fire over the years when underage workers were found in the company’s supply chain, and Williams has spoken before about Apple’s unusual stance on these issues …

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supplier responsibility Stories February 12, 2015

Apple has revealed in its annual Supplier Responsibility Progress Report that it has informed four smelters–who provide metals used in the production of the company’s devices–that they will be dropped from the supply chain after refusing to submit to “conflict mineral” audits …  expand full story

Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

supplier responsibility Stories December 19, 2014

The full BBC documentary on working conditions in iPhone factories has been unofficially uploaded to YouTube. It probably won’t be too long before it gets pulled, so if you want to see it, watch it while you can – we’ve embedded the full video below …  expand full story

In a letter to UK staff, Tim Cook is said to have been “deeply offended” by allegations made in a BBC undercover documentary that Apple had broken promises over the working conditions in Pegatron’s iPhone factories in China, reports the Telegraph.

In an email to around 5,000 staff across the UK, Apple senior vice president of operations Jeff Williams said both himself and the chief executive were “deeply offended by the suggestion that Apple would break a promise to the workers in our supply chain or mislead our customers in any way”.

“Panorama’s report implied that Apple isn’t improving working conditions,” he continued. “Let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth.”

Williams said that Apple had provided both “facts and perspective” on the allegations, but the BBC had chosen not to include these in the program …  expand full story

supplier responsibility Stories July 11, 2013

Apple investigating claims that it uses tin from illegal mines

Apple has just updated its Supplier Responsibility page to say that it is performing a “fact-finding visit” to Bangka Island, Indonesia to investigate whether or not its suppliers are sourcing tin from illegal mines (via The Verge). In an effort to “better understand the situation,” the company says that it has funded a new environmental task force to send to the area.

Bangka Island, Indonesia, is one of the world’s principal tin-producing regions. Recent concerns about the illegal mining of tin from this region prompted Apple to lead a fact-finding visit to learn more. Using the information we’ve gathered, Apple initiated an EICC working group focused on this issue, and we are helping to fund a new study on mining in the region so we can better understand the situation.

Apple currently has 249 suppliers using tin in components of its products, more than any other metal. Samsung has already admitted to using tin from Bangka Island, saying that some of the tin for its products “originates from the area,” but it’s not directly sourcing it.

Friends of the Earth has been calling for Apple to come clean on whether or not it uses tin from the Bangka area for a long time, amassing over 24,000 signatures on its campaign. The activists say that the tin has been “linked to the destruction of tropical forests, coral reefs and fishermen’s livelihoods.”

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