Apple shares fall; Uncovers more serious supplier conduct problems in expanded audit

Apple shares closed lower, Wednesday as the tech giant unveiled its latest supplier responsibility report, showing more core violations, but a rise in the number of high performers.

Apple shares fall; Uncovers more serious supplier conduct problems in expanded audit

Apple shares closed in the red in the US Wednesday, as the tech innovator’s latest supplier responsibility report showed there were more serious code of conduct breaches among the companies who produce the parts for its tech.

However, the report also highlighted that its expanded audit, assessing the conditions of a total of 756 facilities – 26% of which were evaluated for the first time – showed overall compliance was higher.

Apple shares ended the US Wednesday trading session 0.93% lower, at $175.03. After-hours activity currently has the stock little changed from that level.

Apple promotes ‘responsible’ supply-chain

The supplier responsibility report – Apple’s 12th and largest – is designed to ensure that the tech firm is helping all the workers involved in producing Apple products, are treated humanely and have access to fair working conditions.

The tech giant also targets greener processes and helps support its suppliers in that area too.

According to the latest report published by Apple, there were 44 ‘core violations’ of its labour rules, which was twice as many as recorded in its 2016 report.

However, it also found the proportion of suppliers scoring below the key 59 level on its 100-point scale, was just 1% in 2017. That’s a decline from the 3% in its previous report.

However, there was an improvement among its ‘high performers’. Those suppliers with scores of over 90 hit a record high of 59%, a surge from the 47% in 2016.

“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,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s COO.

Green credentials

The report also showed that Apple is working hard towards ensuring its supply chain is increasingly ‘green’. That has been achieved through:

  • All iPhone final assembly sites around the world certified as zero waste to landfill.
  • More products made using renewable energy.
  • Energy-efficiency improvements that reduced over 320,000 annualised metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2017.

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