Environment

Our planet’s natural resources must be protected for future generations.

Auditors conduct wastewater testing at a printed circuit board factory in Kunshan, China.

Apple wants to make sure that suppliers — at home and around the globe — use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes. So we help them make their facilities more energy- and water-efficient and we help implement targeted programs that conserve the planet’s precious resources.

Environment Highlights from Our 2015 Report

Expanded the Clean Water Program to cover 50 per cent of total water withdrawal for our top 200 suppliers.

Helped 13 suppliers save more than 1.8 billion litres of fresh water.

Enrolled more than 392 participants in the EHS Academy, now covering nearly 900,000 workers.

Educating managers to resolve workplace issues.

In 2013, Apple partnered with Nanjing University, Sun Yat-sen University and the Institute for Sustainable Communities to launch our Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Academy to address the global issue of underqualified EHS professionals. Our Academy is one of the most comprehensive EHS training and education programs in the industry, helping midlevel managers in our global supply chains improve their skills so they can address and proactively solve issues in their workplace. The 18-month, 19-course program requires participants to complete real-time projects in their facilities. So far, participants have launched over 870 environment, health and safety projects.

In 2014, 392 more workers enrolled in the EHS Academy (now totalling over 632 enrolled), covering more than 216 supplier sites. The first group of participants graduated in 2014. These newly trained EHS managers are now equipped with the skills to proactively identify and remediate EHS risks in their facilities.

Case Study Protecting waterways.

The problem. This facility, located in Suzhou, is near a protected lake that neighbouring Shanghai residents use for drinking water. The facility, an EHS Academy participant, has a high volume of chemical storage but no effective stormwater management system in place. Although local regulations don’t require any mechanisms for stormwater management, the Apple Supplier Code of Conduct mandates stormwater controls, including reducing water use, recycling water and preventing stormwater pollution.

Potential risks. High risk of run-off contamination into the lake, which could result in damage to the surrounding ecosystem, potentially impacting the health of local residents.

The solution. Through the Apple EHS Academy, the participant identified and prioritised contamination risks in the facility’s stormwater pipelines. Screens and barriers were installed to prevent potential contamination from chemical storage. And emergency valves were placed at stormwater outlets to protect the local water supply from outgoing contaminants and other pollutants.

The outcome. As a result of participating in the Apple EHS Academy project, the facility now routinely tests stormwater run-off and independently resolves issues it finds.

Third-party auditors conduct wastewater testing at a printed circuit board factory in Kunshan, China.
Through a series of regular assessments, Apple helped us to develop strategies for installation of water meters, a water savings awareness campaign, a wastewater reclaiming system and proper stormwater channels. As a result, we’ve saved 10 per cent of our fresh water.
Colin Li
EHS & Sustainability Director, BU Mobile Devices & Substrates, AT&S