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Apple Discloses Component Suppliers of iPad, iPhone, iPod

For the first time ever, Apple has disclosed a list of its major suppliers that produce popular iOS gadgets like the iPad, the iPhone and iPod Touch. The big reveal, part of its 2012 "Supplier Responsibility" progress report released on Friday, is Apple's response to criticism over labor and environmental practices, especially in China.

"Apple is committed to driving the highest standards for social responsibility throughout our supply base," the company states. "We require that our suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes wherever Apple products are made. Our suppliers must live up to Apple’s Supplier Code of Conduct as a condition of doing business with us."

The document reveals that Apple conducted 229 audits throughout its supply chain in 2011, up 80-percent from the 127 audits Apple conducted in 2010. Surprisingly, the document states that Apple actually found labor, health and environmental violations. There were even instances of underage labor.

"We discovered a total of 6 active and 13 historical cases of underage labor at 5 facilities," the document states. "In each case, the facility had insufficient controls to verify age or detect false documentation. We found no instances of intentional hiring of underage labor."

Apple adds that it required the suppliers to support the young workers’ return to school and to improve their management systems "such as labor recruitment practices and age verification procedures to prevent recurrences."

In the report Apple outlines the measures it took to rectify all the violations listed in the document. It even confirms that explosions which took place last year at Chinese plants of two of its parts suppliers were caused by excessive aluminum dust.

"We were deeply saddened by events at two of our suppliers in 2011," Apple states. "An explosion at Foxconn’s Chengdu factory tragically took the lives of four employees and injured 18 others. An explosion at the Ri-Teng (a subsidiary of Pegatron) factory in Shanghai injured 59."

The full 2012 Apple Supplier Responsibility report can be downloaded here in PDF format along with the Apple Suppliers 2011 list which can be downloaded in PDF format here.

  • Usersname
    Good on 'em.
    Reply
  • Travis Beane
    That's... actually really cool. Good job.
    Reply
  • EDVINASM
    Good on marketing and legal side since their image was starting to get affected by suicides and explosions in factories.
    Reply
  • tanjo
    Issue: Loss of lives in one or more facilities.

    Apple response: We required facilities to train their employees to properly keep themselves alive to reduce attrition rates due to death to acceptable levels.

    ... some people on the report do look underage.
    Reply
  • freggo
    I'm not exactly an Apple fan, but that at least seems to show a little corporate responsibility. Let's just hope some Wikileaks undercover thing does not dig up some dirt to disgrace the applaudable effort.

    Yeah, it's me; Glass Half Empty Boy :-)

    Reply
  • kinggraves
    Apple's commitment:

    We regularly commit audits to make it seem like we're concerned about our employee working conditions to maintain our spotless public image. If these facilities are found to be unethical, we will wave our finger at them and tell them not to do it again, then walk off with no further sanction. We will however continue to use these facilities...cause I mean, what do you expect us to do...hire american? Those guys have UNIONS.
    Reply
  • alidan
    child labor in a large portion of the world isnt there because its cheap labor, but its really the only way those people eat, or have any quality of life.

    i know one area, forgot the country, one of the child laborers said that it was either that or prostitution.

    lets also not forget that the "sweat shops" usually pay better than other jobs in that area/country.

    you cant force first world views on impoverished third world countries.
    Reply
  • EDVINASM
    alidanchild labor in a large portion of the world isnt there because its cheap labor, but its really the only way those people eat, or have any quality of life. i know one area, forgot the country, one of the child laborers said that it was either that or prostitution.lets also not forget that the "sweat shops" usually pay better than other jobs in that area/country. you cant force first world views on impoverished third world countries.
    Agree. Although might sound bad to us with different view and system, it's the way of life there. And it's not factories or corporate giants to blame, it's the local government.
    Reply
  • beayn
    What age is considered child labour and what are they doing? I had a job when I was 12 picking berries at a farm. There are jobs kids can do and enjoy doing, and it's a harmless way to make money. As others have pointed out, sometimes the only way some families can survive over there.
    Reply
  • wemakeourfuture
    The same rationale people here and abroad provide for child labour are the same arguments people were giving a century ago to lobby against Child Labour laws.

    It's not just "local" governments to blame. It's the people demanding (ie. hiring) and labour regulators at fault here. I'm not blaming a company who wrongfully was duped into hiring someone underaged but companies knowingly and intentionally hire some underage since they tend to work for less money, hence increase their profits.

    It's quite basic and general knowledge to know that the strict enforcement of child labour laws is a net positive for society and the economy over time.
    Reply