Apple Makes Big Environmental Push for Earth Day (Apr 20, 2017)
Apple Files its Supplier Responsibility Report for 2016 (Mar 27, 2017)
Apple has filed its Supplier Responsibility Report for last year, and it shows decent progress on several fronts. This BuzzFeed piece ties the report into a broader picture of planned deregulation in this area by the Trump administration, and notes that Apple has both opposed that deregulation and pledged to continue to report on its own efforts even if the regulations go away. Conflict minerals are a complex area of Apple’s supply chain, not least because it doesn’t deal with many of the suppliers directly, but also because many operate in parts of the world which have little regulation or transparency over the conditions under which minerals are mined. But it sounds like Apple is making progress around cobalt, one of the areas in which it was accused of not doing enough last year, and in other areas too.
Apple has invested enormously in its green initiatives under Lisa P Jackson, arguably one of the biggest and most visible changes under Tim Cook, who seems determined to use Apple’s power for good beyond the influence of its products alone, to a much greater extent than Steve Jobs was. For Apple to come out on top of the major tech companies is still quite an achievement, though Google and Facebook also did well. It’s not clear that most consumers care all that much about any of this, but there’s an argument to be made that these companies are seen as leaders in the field, and Greenpeace’s endorsement puts pressure on others to fall in line, which has broader environmental benefits.