Products made to have a positive impact. On the world and the people who make them.
Our suppliers employ millions of people around the world. The decisions we make can have a big impact on their lives and their communities. We have a great responsibility to protect the rights of all the people in our supply chain, and to do everything we can to preserve our planet's fragile environment. That’s why we obsess over every detail of how we build our products. And it’s why we invest in education and training to provide opportunities and tools to help our suppliers’ employees today and in the future.
We’re helping suppliers meet the highest standards in the industry. Ours.
We have a strict Code of Conduct that requires our suppliers to adhere to high standards for safe working conditions, fair treatment of workers and environmentally safe manufacturing. Every year we strengthen these standards in a continuing effort to raise the bar. By forming close partnerships, we help our suppliers develop the knowledge and skills they need to operate responsibly. In 2016, even as we raised our benchmarks and added new suppliers to our program, our collaboration resulted in higher scores across the board.
Year-over-year progress through partnership.
We conducted 705 supplier assessments in 2016. Almost 30 percent of these were first-time assessments for suppliers new to the program. By working closely with our suppliers, we were able to increase the number of high-performing supplier sites by 59 percent and decrease the number of low-performing supplier sites by 31 percent.
574 Scored Assessments
209 High Performers (90-100)
330 Medium Performers (60-89)
35 Low Performers (≤59)
705 Scored Assessments
332 High Performers (90-100)
349 Medium Performers (60-89)
24 Low Performers (≤59)
How we measure our progress.
In order to know whether our suppliers are progressing, we conduct regular assessments. We assess suppliers in three main categories: labour and human rights, environmental responsibility, and health and safety. Each category is scored on a 100-point scale based on more than 500 data points that correspond to our Code of Conduct. We expect our suppliers to show steady improvement, and we work with them to achieve this through education, training tools and support.
Labour and Human Rights
85 Average Assessment Score
compliance: 85 points, violations: 15 points.
87 Average Assessment Score
compliance: 87 points, violations: 13 points.
Health and Safety
87 Average Assessment Score
compliance: 87 points, violations: 13 points.
Scores issued on a 100-point scale in 2016
We’re leading the way on the environment and helping our partners keep pace.
Throughout our supply chain we’re driving programs that minimize carbon emissions, eliminate landfill waste, conserve water and replace unsafe chemicals. We’re also helping our suppliers reduce the amount of energy they use and make the switch to renewable energy. We’re advancing renewable energy usage by working with suppliers to create 4 gigawatts of renewable energy around the world by 2020 that will help power their facilities. In 2016, we tripled the number of supplier sites participating in our energy efficiency program, resulting in the reduction of more than 150,000 metric tons of carbon emissions. A number of large suppliers have already committed to power all Apple manufacturing with renewable energy by the end of 2018. These commitments will reduce carbon emissions by 7,000,000 metric tons per year, the equivalent of removing 1,500,000 cars from the road for a year. We’re even taking responsibility for our paper supply chain: more than 99 percent of the paper used in our packaging comes from either recycled wood fibre or sustainably managed forests and controlled wood sources.
Case Study Creating a zero waste manufacturing facility.
In 2015, we started a zero waste program for our final assembly suppliers. One of the participants was Tech-Com in Shanghai. Working closely with the facility, we discovered that more than 20 percent of the waste they produced was being incinerated or going to landfills. We partnered with our supplier and its local recycling facility to develop a better process for separating and recycling waste. As a result, Tech-Com is now able to recycle all of its waste rather than sending it to a landfill or an incinerator. Tech-Com also developed a new process for managing food waste, allowing them to send it to a local composter instead of a landfill. They then used what they had learned to develop a process for their own suppliers that helped their suppliers collect and reuse packaging material. Since the program started, Tech-Com has diverted more than 10,000 metric tons of waste from landfills, earning the company a well-deserved UL Zero Waste to Landfill validation in 2016.
Educating and Empowering Workers
We’re investing in people.
A more educated workforce is a more empowered workforce. In 2016, we partnered with our suppliers to train more than 2.4 million workers on their rights as employees. We’re also helping build stronger futures by offering the people who work in our supply chain a wide variety of educational and training programs. These include the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s or associate’s degree, attend vocational training and take classes in language, arts, finance and basic life skills.
Case Study Turning education into opportunity.
Jiang Hong Liu is an experienced manager at Foxconn with two university degrees. It’s a future she never imagined when she started on the assembly line as a technician.
One afternoon she was walking down a hallway at Foxconn when she spotted a Supplier Employee Education and Development (SEED) program poster. Jiang had always wanted to go to university, but her family’s circumstances had made that impossible. SEED allowed her to pursue a degree and still be able to work to support her family. She started with an AA degree and received her BA degree a few years later.
Her persistence and determination were rewarded. Over the years, Jiang moved up the ranks at Foxconn, receiving multiple promotions from her first technician job to manager of her own team.
“I love what I do. Apple’s education program really helped me a lot in my career development. My improvement in English also enabled me to communicate with clients and manage projects independently. I wouldn’t have the career I have now without SEED.”
Responsible sourcing that goes well beneath the surface.
Our commitment to people and the planet doesn’t stop at manufacturing. In 2010, we were one of the first companies to map our supply chain from manufacturing to the smelter level for tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold (3TG). In 2016, we completed our supply chain mapping for cobalt. We continue to publish a list of our 3TG smelters, and this year the list also includes our cobalt suppliers. For the second year in a row, 100 percent of our identified 3TG smelters and refiners are participating in independent third-party audits. And 100 percent of our cobalt smelter and refiner partners are participating in third-party audits. In 2016, we removed 22 smelters from our supply chain. We will continue to remove those who are unable or ultimately unwilling to comply with our high standards. Every year we deepen our influence throughout our supply chain as we push for higher social and environmental standards.
2017 Report Highlights
Learn more about our progress.
Our 11th annual Supplier Responsibility Progress Report is a comprehensive overview of everything we’re doing to ensure that our products are manufactured with the highest level of integrity. It highlights our continued efforts to improve working conditions at our supplier partners’ facilities, safeguard the environment, enhance the lives of workers and uphold our standards for responsible sourcing.