Apple details safety changes due to Covid-19 in latest report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on May 15, 2020

Apple today released its 2020 Supplier Responsibility progress report detailing important highlights of its supply chain and safety changes made in light of Covid-19.

Apple’s Senior Vice President of Operations Sabih Khan has provided an outline of the plan mentioning the tech giant’s safety and protection efforts for its supply chain worldwide in the report.

“This pandemic has left no country untouched, and we want to thank all our suppliers around the world for their commitment, flexibility and care for their teams as we navigate COVID-19’s complex and rapidly evolving impacts,” Khan said. “From the outset, we worked with our suppliers to develop and execute a plan that puts the health of people first.”

Apple has put into place multiple measures to ensure that all necessary health and safety precautions are taken including “health screenings, limiting density, and ensuring strict adherence to social distancing in facilities.”

“We're requiring the use of personal protective equipment — both during work and in all common areas — and have worked together to implement enhanced deep cleaning protocols and deploy masks and sanitizers,” Khan said.

Apple teams have also partnered with suppliers to redesign and reconfigure factory floorplans where required. Suppliers are also implemented flexible working hours including staggered work shifts to adhere to social distancing guidelines and maximize interpersonal space.

“We continue to work closely with leading medical and privacy experts to develop advanced health and safety protocols,” Khan said.

The report is based on interviews from more than 50,000 employees in Apple’s supply chain and over a thousand audits of supplier facilities across 49 countries including surprise audits.

The report details various measures taken by the company in terms of supplier education and awareness prior to Covid-19 as well.

According to the report, Apple has trained 19.4 million supplier employees trained on workplace rights since 2008 while 4 million supplier employees have participated in education, skill-building, and enrichment courses.

The tech giant has also expanded its health and wellness education training program to Vietnam, joining China and India. Over one million supplier employees have received training through the program, the company said.

Apart from this, other initiatives include pioneering the use of blockchain technology to trace Salmon Gold from the mine to its supply chain.

The company has also taken various initiatives towards climate change. 1 million+ metric tons of carbon emissions avoided through energy efficiency and emissions abatement efforts

Apple’s Zero Waste program is now integrated into FATP across all major products. The tech giant’s supplier change has been able to divert 1.3 million metric tons of waste from landfill last year. It has also been able to save 9.4 billion gallons of freshwater achieving a 40 per cent re-use rate.

“The environment we all share is fragile, and we are more dedicated than ever to fighting climate change and reducing emissions. Through strategic partnerships, we’re helping our suppliers shrink their carbon footprint and conserve precious resources, like water and energy. Green manufacturing is smart manufacturing, and, more broadly, we know what is good for the environment is also good for business,” wrote Khan.

Published on May 15, 2020

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