In its 11th annual Supplier Responsibility progress report released last week, Apple announced that for the first time its suppliers achieved 100% UL zero waste to landfill validation for all final assembly sites in China.
In 2016, Apple audited 705 suppliers and compliance with a 60-hour maximum work week reached 98%, an all-time high.
The company also tripled the number of supplier sites in the Energy Efficiency program, resulting in the reduction of over 150,000 metric tons of carbon emissions — the equivalent of taking 31,000 cars off the road for a year.
Other achievements from the report include the company's Clean Water program that has Since saved over 3.8 billion gallons of fresh water since 2013, enough to provide every person on the planet with 18 glasses of water.
Apple’s responsible sourcing efforts expanded beyond conflict minerals to include cobalt for the first time.For the second year in a row, 100% of Apple’s tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold (3TG) smelters and refiners are participating in independent third-party audits. Apple has also partnered with numerous NGOs to drive positive change on the ground, including Pact, who are working to provide essential health and safety training to artisanal mining and building programs to help children stay in school.
Apple is also working to reduce supply chain emissions by increasing suppliers’ renewable energy use, as reported by Jessica Lyons Hardcastle in Environmental Leader. In 2016, Apple tripled the number of supplier sites participating in its energy efficiency program, thus reducing more than 150,000 metric tons of carbon emissions.
The report says several large suppliers have already committed to power all Apple manufacturing with renewable energy by the end of 2018. The company expects this to reduce carbon emissions by 7,000,000 metric tons per year.