Apple, the company responsible for ubiquitous products like the iPhone, iPod and Macbook, has released the results of its 13th annual Supplier Responsibility Progress Report, an ongoing self-audit to track how well it's achieving a number of health, welfare and environment-related goals throughout its supply chain.
The company monitors its 1,049 suppliers from 45 different countries, from their partners who mine and refine elements for parts, all the way through assembly and delivery to retail outlets. Every partner in this chain is assessed on things like what sort of human rights standards workers were held to, what educational opportunities workers received, and what factories were doing to reduce water waste and to convert to renewable energy for their power supplies.
Some of the key achievements Apple is citing in this latest report include having 17.3 million supplier employees trained on workplace rights, and 3.6 million receiving advanced education and skills training. This training ranges from things like learning to create apps to receiving college degrees (Apple says 1,500 supplier employees earned college degrees last year). Additionally, 250,000 employees were taught courses on nutrition and maternal health.
"In everything we do, people come first," said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, in a statement. "We are constantly raising the bar for ourselves and our suppliers because we are committed to the people who make our products possible as well as the planet we all share. This year, we’re proud to give more people an opportunity to advance their education. Working alongside our suppliers, we're challenging ourselves to find new ways to keep our planet healthy for future generations. Our goal has always been not just to drive progress in our supply chain, but to drive meaningful change across the industry."
Apple also explained the many environmental improvements it's made throughout its supply chain. Some of these include:
* 116 suppliers adopting Apple's clean water initiative, resulting in 7.6 billion gallons of water saved in production last year.
* 30 suppliers committing to using renewable energy for their production needs.
* The final assembly plants for all of the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, AirPods and HomePod products now being designated "zero waste to landfill" facilities.
* 16 factories receiving "Green Factory" designation from the Chinese government.
* Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 466,000 annualized metric tons, which is equivalent to taking 100,000 cars off the road for one year, according to Apple.