The environmental activist group Greenpeace offered rare praise for Apple this week following the release of the iPhone and iPad maker's annual Supplier Responsibility report. The group said it was pleased with the work Apple has been doing to improve working conditions for its suppliers and called the company an example for other electronics makers to follow.
Greenpeace pleased with Apple's new Supplier Responsibility report
Greenpeace Energy Campaigner Tom Dowdall stated,
Apple's increased transparency about its suppliers is becoming a hallmark of Tim Cook's leadership at the company. Apple has flexed its muscles in the past to push suppliers to remove hazardous substances from products and provide more renewable energy for data centers, and it is proving the same model can work to reduce the use of conflict minerals. Samsung and other consumer electronics companies should follow Apple's example and map its suppliers, so the industry can exert its collective influence to build devices that are better for people and the planet.
Apple's report showed the company's efforts to ensure workers have clean water and that suppliers aren't contaminating local drinking water sources. The company also dramatically increased the number of audits it conducts to help eliminate underage workers and employee exploitation, including job recruiters that demand exorbitant fees workers must pay off as loans.
Greenpeace has a history of targeting Apple for its policies and the materials it uses in its products over environmental concerns. Apple has worked to remove toxic chemicals from its products and work with suppliers that use processes that don't expose workers to hazardous materials.
While Greenpeace has called Apple to task in the past for environmental waste concerns, bagged on its power use, and staged demonstrations at the company's stores, it has also praised the company for its efforts to remove toxic chemicals from its products.
It's a safe bet that Greenpeace will continue to be critical of Apple, just as it is with other companies. That criticism, however, is coming with praise and the acknowledgement that Apple is actively working to be a leader in environmentally friendly electronics design.
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