Apple released their 2021 annual supply chain report today in Seven detailed Segments that acknowledged the Challenges of COVID-19
Sabih Khan, who leads Apple’s global supply chain, which includes Environment and Supply Chain Innovation noted in Apple's newly released 2021 annual supply chain report that "No year challenged us like this one, and no year taught us more. A pandemic changed everything about how we live and work, and most importantly, reinforced just how essential it is to put people’s health first in everything we do."
Kahn further noted that "Apple’s annual People and Environment in Our Supply Chain report is where we share our progress and lessons learned over the past year. But I want to start with a message of gratitude to our teams and to the global network of Apple suppliers. You set an example of care for one another’s health, innovating through every challenge, and helping bring technology to our users at a time when we’ve never relied on it more. Those innovations didn’t just happen at the margins. Apple and our suppliers reimagined every detail of how we work, manufacture and share our products with the world. And we did all of that while supporting the pandemic response anyway we could, by investing in and scaling assembly lines to make millions of masks and face shields, and contributing to first responders and relief efforts on the frontlines of the pandemic."
Apple's report covers seven key areas: Supply Responsibility; Labor and Human Rights; Health, Safety, and Wellness; Education and Professional Development; Environment; Supplier Performance and Development and Additional Resources.
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2020: By the Numbers
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To review Apple's entire 113 page 2021 Supply Chain report, click here.
A new Bloomberg report this morning added that "Over the course of the pandemic-challenged year, Apple conducted 1,121 assessments across 53 countries, covering suppliers and assemblers as well as smelters and refiners. The company interviewed 57,618 workers to confirm their experience matched what management reported and followed up with a majority of them to ensure there was no retaliation. It also did more than 100 assessments without giving prior notice to the supplier.
In 2020, Apple rejected 8% of prospective suppliers -- covering both new suppliers and new facilities from established partners -- due to potential compliance issues. The company reported it has 93% compliance with its working-hours code, which stipulates working weeks should not exceed 60 hours and overtime should in all cases be voluntary.
The most serious violations of Apple’s code of conduct fell to nine instances in 2020, down from 2019’s 17 and a significant improvement on the 48 in 2017. Seven of the most recent cases related to working hours or labor data falsification, one was a wastewater violation and another was an air emission infraction.
One Apple supplier, Ofilm Group Co., came under criticism for allegations it’s involved in a Chinese government program that transfers ethnic minorities from Xinjiang to other parts of the country for work. Bloomberg News reported in March that Apple had severed ties with Ofilm.
Apple has trained 21.5 million supplier employees on their rights since 2008 and over the past year it started developing a mobile platform to deliver such training directly to workers’ phones. The training will be delivered in their native language. Apple also convinced suppliers to implement 3,173 actions to address feedback it gathered by surveying their employees -- that included adding shuttle buses, reducing work grievance response times and increasing bonuses." You could read more of the Bloomberg report here.