Apple inc released their 2013 Suppliers Responsibility Report last month to show how the Cupertino-based company are auditing the suppliers of their products. Along with the 2013 Audit Report which you can view at the bottom of this post, they also created an up to date list of suppliers for their product range. The list comprises of the major manufacturing locations of suppliers who provide raw materials and components or perform final assembly for Apple, upon which David Barreda of ChinaFile.com created the interactive map. The full list of suppliers can be viewed here.
Below is a screenshot of the interactive map (click to enlarge). To access the full interactive map simply follow this link.
As well as listing the various addresses for the major companies involved in the manufacturing side of things, Apple also gave a fairly detailed report into what their audits consisted of as well as how they have improved their audit process over the past 6 years.
As you can see from the chart above, that was taken from the PDF version of the 2013 Suppliers Responsibility Report, Apple have increased their audits consistently over the years since the first one conducted back in 2006. There was also a 72% increase in the amount of companies assessed covering 14 different countries and nearly 1.5 million workers. Audits are also conducted in non-production facilities such as call centers and warehouses focusing on environment & safety.
We audit our final assembly manufacturers annually, and we audit other facilities based on certain risk factors, including location and geographic sensitivities, past audit performance, and the nature of the facility’s work. Since many smaller suppliers have never been exposed to auditing, our audits often identify ways to enable operations to comply with our standards. This effort not only improves working conditions at these suppliers, it also helps improve conditions industry wide, since many of our peers use the same companies.
Another part of the report that will be of interest to people is Apple’s stance on working ethics, including working hours, pay, child labour and forced pregnancy tests among other discriminatory practices that would violate Apple’s working policies. The latter, forced pregnancy testing, is detailed on page 29 of the report in which Apple found that 34 facilities required pregnancy testing and 25 facilities conducted medical testing such as Hepatitis B tests. Apple classified these findings as discriminatory and are working with the suppliers responsible to prevent recurrences of these practices.
When it came to working hours, Apple has a maximum limit of 60 hours a week that one person can work, which in the suppliers audited in 2012, 92% met this criteria with the average working week for employees being 50 hours.
When it came to the prevention of child labour, 11 facilities were found with underage labor, with a total of 106 active cases and 70 historical cases. In one of the companies audited, the audit found that there were a total of 74 cases at one facility. In that case, Apple terminated business with the company and supplier. All other companies or suppliers that were found to be employing underage workers were required to attend Apple’s Prevention of Underage Labor Training and follow their Underage Labor Remediation Program. Apple’s Code states child labour is strictly prohibited. The minimum age for employment or work is 15 years of age, the minimum age for employment in that country, or the age for completing compulsory education in that country, whichever is higher.
Apple have had a lot of bad press over the years especially with the treatment of workers at Foxconn and low wages being paid. The situation at companies that do business with Apple has improved quite a bit since, and with the increasing amount of companies being audited each year one can hope that this trend will continue.
The report is embedded below for easy reading or can be downloaded directly here. The report is 37 pages in total and covers quite a bit about the audit practice and what happens when violations are found. Worth a read if you are so inclined.