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Apple releases 2014 Supplier Responsibility report, pushes against 'conflict minerals'

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Apple on Thursday released its latest Supplier Responsibility report covering a wide range of human and environmental issues, noting that it will be cracking down on the use of so-called "conflict minerals."

Responsibility Report


In the annual report (PDF download), Apple's eighth such publication, the company said it enforced its strict Supplier Code of Conduct through 451 audits, training and education.

Apple suppliers achieved an average 95 percent compliance rate with the maximum 60-hour work week, often a bone of contention for human rights groups that come down hard on Chinese labor practices. That number is up from 92 percent a year ago.

In addition to the usual maintenance and improvements, Apple will also be keeping a closer eye on where suppliers source their minerals. Apple is looking to steer clear of "conflict minerals," or materials sourced from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the sales of which are used to fund fighting in the region.

This new initiative will be an extension of the report that already covers workers' rights and environmental issues relating to the manufacture of Apple products.

From the report:

The ethical sourcing of minerals is an important part of our mission to ensure safe and fair working conditions. In January 2014 we confirmed that all active, identified tantalum smelters in our supply chain were verified as conflict-free by third party auditors, and we're pushing our suppliers of tin, tungsten, and gold just as hard to use verified sources. To heighten smelter accountability and help stakeholders follow our progress, we are releasing, for the first time, a list of the smelters andrefiners in our supply chain along with their verification status.


In an interview with Financial Times, Apple SVP of Operations Jeff Williams said that January was the first time the company was able to verify that all of the tantalum used in its devices -- for capacitors and resistors -- came from non-conflict zones.

While the electronics industry is responsible for over half of the world's tantalum consumption, it is not a major player in the use of tin, tungsten and gold, meaning actions from companies like Apple will have little impact on smelters of those minerals. Apple will instead use its high-profile brand to spotlight suppliers' smelters in a quarterly report (PDF download), noting which firms do or do not comply with "ethical sourcing guidelines."

So far, 59 smelters were found to be compliant, while another 23 are part of the Conflict-Free Smelter Program. More work can be done, however, as the status of 104 smelters is unknown. The CFSP is an initiative of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), which counts Apple, Microsoft, IBM, HP, Sony and Dell among its members.

"We think it has the chance to make a difference," Williams said. "The smelters are a choke point where all this flows through. If we can get as many smelters verified [as possible] through this pressure, then we have a real chance of influencing the various activities on the ground."

post #2 of 17
That's the largest iPad I've ever seen¡

Seriously, that the compliance rate on the max 60-hour work week was at 92% wasn't good enough for Apple and cracking it up to 95% is quite amazing. As is the rest.
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post #3 of 17

I had a similar thought.  I love that they have pushed compliance to 95% and are still working at it, and this article seems full of welcome news. And while that makes me happy, what's with that huge iPad? Were we supposed to see that?

post #4 of 17

Good for Apple. I applaud their efforts! Especially, in recycling, manufacturing and labor practices.

 

The world's not perfect, but there is cause for hope.

 

E.g. CVS (U.S. retail pharmacy) stopping to sell cigarettes.

 

And Subway (U.S. sandwich shop) being found out about putting a chemical in their bread to make "spongey!" Same chemical is used in Yoga mats and shoes! Good grief! :(

 

I swear, if US food companies could get away with selling ground up old tires with some red food coloring, they'd sell it as tomato sauce! :(

 

Best.

post #5 of 17

Imagine if that picture actually showed a tablet.

Looks nice, doesn't it?

 

I'm more and more convinced that a bigger iPad running iOS with windowed apps would be great.

post #6 of 17
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post
Imagine if that picture actually showed a tablet.

Looks nice, doesn't it?

 

I'm more and more convinced that a bigger iPad running iOS with windowed apps would be great.

 

Agreed 94.8%; not about the windowed apps.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

That's the largest iPad I've ever seen¡



Its not an iPad, its a macbook air screen
post #8 of 17

It's no good rumor-mongering if everyone else doesn't play, too! 8-)

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by sighting View Post

Its not an iPad, its a macbook air screen

¡

Welcome to my User Title, and the forum.
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post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by sighting View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

That's the largest iPad I've ever seen¡


Its not an iPad, its a macbook air screen

Especially signed up to prove you don't understand what the symbol ¡ means.

Grats!

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Agreed 94.8%; not about the windowed apps.

 

The idea is certainly not very appealing at first. But with good execution I think it might work. I don't know how exactly though. I know iPads aren't made for the same job as Macs, but I can't remove the idea that having at least two windows at the same time might be useful even on a tablet. It truly is compulsory for a lot of pro work. Not pro pro, but light or pro. Like editing two different spreadsheets for example.

post #12 of 17
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

The idea is certainly not very appealing at first. But with good execution I think it might work. I don't know how exactly though. I know iPads aren't made for the same job as Macs, but I can't remove the idea that having at least two windows at the same time might be useful even on a tablet. It truly is compulsory for a lot of pro work. Not pro pro, but light or pro. Like editing two different spreadsheets for example.

 

I wonder if I’m looking at it the wrong way. What about this as a concept: simultaneous focus.

 

Instead of separate “windows” having separate control and requiring a click to shift between, just treat both “sides” as a single document with separate ‘panes’ in it. Say two spreadsheets. The zoom gesture performed on one side would only affect one (and performed with one finger on each half, it would do nothing), but you’d also be able to single touch cells on either side to input.

 

Of course… formatting would be troublesome. No sense in having two Inspectors, so maybe one Inspector and then hold and drag from the item to the open file to which you want it applied.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #13 of 17

Seems kind of complicated, and would only work with two apps that behave the same. The main problem is how to make a window smaller without changing the UI that much and at the same time keeping the touch targets and text big enough. MS probably had the same problem with Windows 8, and that's why they settled on 2 (then 3) panels side by side, to avoid the need for a dynamic window resizing.

On the iPhone, the horizontal resolution is about half as the vertical. Using that same ratio on an iPad may allow two different apps to be displayed side by side when the tablet is in landscape mode. The apps would just run as if they were on portrait mode. The problem wouldn't really be that the touch targets are smaller : they are smaller on the iPad Mini compared to the iPad after all.

post #14 of 17

I have an honest question because I haven't had time to look into it, but do any of Apple's major competitors? I am assuming that they might but I'm not sure.

 

The work Apple puts into their supply chain is insane. If you don't even factor in the work they do to be a good shepherd in the industry, it's nuts, but when you look at the extra work they do actually put in, it's truly commendable. Looking at their global supply chain, you realize how much work they actually do.

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Agreed 94.8%; not about the windowed apps.

Me too; I'd so love a bigger iPad, anywhere from 11" to 24".
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"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
post #16 of 17

That is a picture of a large tablet.  

 

Holding just the monitor of a Macbook Air with both hands is unnatural and I doubt Apple would show a Macbook being handled in such an unintended way.  If it were Apple's intention to showcase a Macbook Air being held off a surface, it would make sense to show it being held responsibly with one hand supporting the keyboard and the other supporting the screen - no matter how light the machine may be.  

 

Also, although she is wearing gloves indicating the possible need for a keyboard, it appears she is also holding a white tipped rubber stylus, hinting at a touch capable device. 

 

Just my 2cents...

post #17 of 17
Originally Posted by scoobydoo2407 View Post
That is a picture of a large tablet.  

 

Completely and utterly incorrect.

 
Holding just the monitor of a Macbook Air with both hands is unnatural and I doubt Apple would show a Macbook being handled in such an unintended way.

 

SHE IS BUILDING THE LAPTOP. IT IS NOT A COMPLETE LAPTOP. IT IS THE DISPLAY PANEL. SHE IS HOLDING JUST THE DISPLAY PANEL.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
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