Apple Releases 2012 Supplier Responsibility Progress Report and Supplier List
Yesterday Apple released its annual Supplier Responsibility Progress Report for 2012, where the company details efforts to oversee working conditions and environmental responsibility at its suppliers around the world. Apple specially noted that it conducted 229 audits during 2011.
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.
In 2011 Apple began a dedicated environmental auditing process to supplement the environmental checks. Third-party environmental engineering experts helped conduct audits at fourteen different facilities, and some violations were found. Apple for the first time also published a list of 156 suppliers representing 97% of the company's procurement expenditures.
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."
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