Apple released its latest annual Supplier Responsibility Report for 2021, which focuses on the company's response to COVID-19.

Like every other year, Apple released its latest Annual Supplier Responsibility Report for 2021. This latest report focuses on Apple's response to COVID-19, all of the other challenges over the past year, and the usual supplier responsibility information.

Apple releases its latest supplier stewardship report

Apple released its latest annual supplier stewardship report for 2021. The report includes the usual details on supplier responsibility, but also highlights Apple's response and policies regarding COVID-19.

Sabih Khan, Apple's COO, introduces the report. It begins by explaining how Apple has worked with suppliers to redefine "every detail" of critical processes with "maximum care for people's health" in response to COVID-19.

Image source: Apple

Khan explains that this included reorganizing factory floors to allow social distancing, investing in masks, face shields, and disinfectants for the assembly line, changing work hours to reduce the number of people on-site at one time, and thorough cleaning protocols.

In the introduction, Khan also mentions that everything Apple has learned over the past year will feed into new "Infectious Disease Prevention and Response" guidelines that Apple will uphold over the long term.

Despite lockdowns and global security measures restricting travel, Apple conducted 1,121 supplier reviews in 53 countries last year. The company reiterated that it has no tolerance for forced labor of any kind and said that its audits in 2020 had found no evidence of involuntary labor.

Apple Supplier Responsibility Information

Aside from COVID-19, Apple's report explains the usual details about supplier responsibility. This includes an inside look at Apple's numbers for the year, as well as environmental and ethical ratings from Apple's suppliers.

Image source: Apple

As we saw last year, Apple continues to encourage its suppliers to improve their environmental footprint. Apple is helping suppliers reduce energy consumption by identifying hotspots in factories and replacing outdated heating and cooling systems.

The company says that six of its participating suppliers have seen their iPhone manufacturing energy use decreased 20% over the past three years. Apple has also launched similar programs to help reduce energy consumption in the AirPods, iPad, and Apple Watch supply chains.

Related: What Is Greenwashing And How Does It Affect Your Technology?

In the report in particular, Apple also responded to allegations of incidents of forced labor in Apple's supply chain. Apple states that it found no evidence of forced labor or child labor among minors, although a case of it was found in last year's report.

Apple's ongoing environmental commitment

Although Apple's 2021 Supplier Responsibility Report focused quite heavily on COVID-19, one of the key takeaways is Apple's continued commitment to its environmental impact.

Consumers have seen Apple's environmental streak through numbers in its keynote events and packaging changes. It's nice to know that Apple is also taking further action behind the scenes with its suppliers.

Image source: Apple

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About the author

Connor Jude
(92 articles published)

Connor is a UK-based technology writer. After writing for online publications for several years, he now also spends time in the world of tech startups. Connor is primarily focused on Apple and news, has a passion for technology, and is particularly passionate about new technology. When he's not working, Connor likes to spend time cooking, various fitness activities, and a little Netflix with a glass of red.

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