Apple’s latest Supplier Responsibility progress report for 2018 released on Thursday has some interesting insights about the company’s production line in India. It is the first time Apple has spoken about its facilities or suppliers in India, where it started production last year. The 2018 report underlines how the company last year made efforts to empower women through health education at supplier facilities in India and China.
It also highlighted the efforts of India supplier Wistron to achieve a Zero Waste to Landfill certification in record time. The annual report looks at how Apple’s many suppliers are “treating people with dignity and respect, providing advancement opportunities and conserving out planet’s resources”, all “fundamental to how an Apple product is made”.
“We believe that everyone making Apple products deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and we’re proud that almost 15 million people understand their workplace rights as a result of the work we’ve done over the years. We’re going further with health education programs and new opportunities for advancement at our suppliers,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s COO.
“A new preventive health care curriculum is encouraging women to focus on their personal health, and hopefully share that knowledge with their families and communities. Our goal is to reach 1 million women by 2020. We know our work is never done and we’re committed to raising the bar every year across our supply chain.”
The Apple report said that by empowering women factory workers through education its goal was to enable them to take charge of their personal health and well-being by being well-informed about risks. The report said the curriculum offers information and access to services women need to maintain their health.
It touches upon maternal health as well as self-examination for early cancer detection, nutrition and personal care. In India, Bengaluru’s St John’s National Academy of Health Sciences is an integral part of the training which is conducted in local languages, the report said.
The Apple report claimed that while onboarding Wistron’s new supplier facility in India, they “found ways to not only reach a Zero Waste to Landfill certification”, but also benefit the local community. Zero Waste to Landfill certification means an organisation is reducing environmental impact by diverting non-hazardous waste streams from landfill by reducing waste, finding ways to reuse materials and increasing recycling.
As part of this, Wistron India employees were trained on waste management with recycling and segregation knowledge. The report said right at the time the facility was being developed, waste management practices were incorporated into the plan to help avoid sending any waste to landfills. This meant selecting recyclable materials and finding service providers to reclaim materials at end of life. Wistron reached a 100 per cent waste diversion rate in the first year of operation.