Assessing the reforms portrayed in Apple’s Supplier Responsibility Report

Isaac Shapiro and Scott Nova present an assessment of Apple’s latest supplier responsibility report (Apple 2014a), which was released in February and reports on conditions in its supply chain throughout 2013. From their assessment, that focuses on the labour rights aspects of the report, five themes emerge. For one, the effects of Apple’s reforms are often dubious and overstated by the company.

Assessing the reforms portrayed in Apple’s Supplier Responsibility Report

Isaac Shapiro and Scott Nova present an assessment of Apple’s latest supplier responsibility report (Apple 2014a), which was released in February and which reports on conditions in its supply chain throughout 2013. From their assessment that focuses on the labour rights aspects of the report, and not the environmental aspects, five themes emerge.

  • For one, the effects of Apple’s reforms are often dubious and overstated by the company.
  • Secondly, Apple’s own data show that labor rights violations remain common and that there has been no overall progress when it comes to worker health and safety. 
  • Thirdly, Apple has apparently walked away from key reforms promised as part of the FLA process.
  • Four, Apple’s self-regulatory approach raises independence and accuracy concerns; independent reports continue to paint a far more troubling picture of Apple’s supply chain.
  • Last but not least, Apple has apparently made progress in some areas, in particular with regard to reducing working hours; supplier factory disclosure; with the release of a detailed “Supplier Responsibility Standards,”; the start of a new training academy for management personnel on environmental and health and safety issues; and the use of  “conflict-free” tantalum smelters.

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