In total, Apple conducted 756 supplier audits in 30 countries a year ago.
"We believe that everyone making Apple products deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and we're proud that nearly 15 million people understand their workplace rights as a result of the work we've done over the years", Jeff Williams, Apple's COO, said in the company's press release. "High performers" with scores of more than 90 rose to a record high of 59 percent from 47 percent the year before. Core violations can include everything from the use of underage workers and involuntary labor to managers intimidating workers. Apple reports violations it finds at various categories of severity and gives its suppliers ratings based on how they treat their workers. The company forced the supplier to return the money. In one example, a supplier charged 700 workers in the Philippines a total of one million USA dollars in recruitment fees for securing their jobs there.
Overall, there were 44 "core violations" determined by Apple, a two-fold surge from 2016 to 2017. The supplier is required to undergo regular audits to ensure the reviewed policy is implemented to prevent future violations.
Apple also touted its new health program, with suppliers in India and China, which teaches women about the value of nutritional, maternal and preventative health care and provides access to services, including self-examination for early cancer detection, nutrition, personal care and maternal health. The company's efforts have managed to bring low-performing facilities to just 1 per cent, the report notes.
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Apple stated in an introduction to the report that it ranks its supply chain sites by its performance - low, medium, or high - as compared to "the industry's most rigorous set of standards".
35%In 2017, the number of high performers in our supply chain increased by 35 percent. 16 smelters and refiners left Apple's supply chain, 10 of which were dropped due to their unwillingness to take part in a third-party audit of their practices, while the remaining six left out of choice. "We're going further with health education programs and new opportunities for advancement at our suppliers". They will be given the opportunity to work for the same facility once they reach the legal working age.
It also has a Zero Waste Program, and in the two years since it launched, all of Apple's Chinese and Indian final assembly locations have achieved Zero Waste certifications, and its newest facility will get certification this year. Some of CLW's claims were corroborated by a Bloomberg investigation of the same facility.
Across its hundreds of supply chain assessments, its average environmental score was 91 per cent, with most of the violations attributed to "hazardous substance management and environmental permits".