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Saturday, January 14, 2012
Apple Unveils Its Suppliers in 2012 'Responsibility Report'

For the first time, Apple listed all 156 of its suppliers and manufacturing partners as a part of its "Supplier Responsibility 2012 Progress Report."

The report detailed Apple's efforts to monitor its suppliers to make sure they're operating within legal codes and its own policies regarding environmental standards, occupational health and safety, and human rights.

Apple's list of its suppliers for the iPhone, iPad and other popular gadgets include Intel, Broadcom, Amphenol and Sanyo Electric.

Apple has come under scrutiny in the past over workplace problems with its suppliers, such as nearly a dozen employees committing suicide at the Shenzhen, China, plant of Foxconn in 2010.

Apple's audit program reaches all levels of our supply chain, including final assembly and component suppliers. At this year's report, Apple has added more detailed and specialized audits to address safety and environmental concerns.

Apple recently became the first technology company accepted by the Fair Labor Association (FLA). The company will also open its supply chain to the FLA?s independent auditing team, who will measure its suppliers' performance against the FLA's Workplace Code of Conduct and the results will appear on their website.

The tech giant said that its Supplier Responsibility team conducted a total of 229 audits in 2011, which was an 80% increase from 2010.

Apple also said that in 2011 it trained its 1 millionth supplier employee as a part of its "worker empowerment program," which trains workers on Apple's supplier standards as well as "their rights as workers, occupational health and safety standards, and more."

The company also found that just 38% of suppliers it audited were in compliance with its policy of no-more-than a 60-hour work week.

According to the report, 108 audited facilities "did not pay proper overtime wages as required by laws and regulations," Apple said. "For example, they did not provide sufficient overtime pay for holidays." In response to that finding, Apple says it required suppliers to repay workers the wages they were due and to "change their current payment system to prevent recurrence."

The company also said it increased the amount of money its suppliers paid out to workers to compensate for migrant laborers paying outrageously high fees to recruiters, middle-men and other companies just to get a job making parts found in Apple goods.

"We increased audits in Malaysia and Singapore, countries known to be destinations for foreign contract workers," Apple said. "As a result, suppliers reimbursed $3.3 million in excess foreign contract worker fees, bringing the total that has been repaid to workers since 2008 to $6.7 million."

Apple also said in the report that it found no incidents of underage workers at its suppliers last year and that it stopped doing business with one supplier over a repeated "core violation" though the company didn't say who the supplier was or what the violation was.

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