Apple makes supply chain substance regulations public, to create advisory board for safe chemical us

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2014
Following a decision to ban benzene and n-hexane from use in supplier factories, Apple for the first time made its Regulated Substances Specifications -- supply chain restrictions for hazardous/toxic materials -- available for public viewing for the first time.


Apple's new regulations for benzene and n-hexane, two chemicals recently banned from supply chain use.
Source: Apple Regulated Substances Specifications


Along with the list of regulations (PDF link), Apple VP of Environmental Initiatives Lisa Jackson on Thursday posted a letter online regarding the company's stance on safe working environments.

"Eliminating the risks from toxic substances in the products we all use has always been a passion of mine, and today it is one of our top three environmental priorities here at Apple," Jackson writes. "We continue to lead the industry in this area as we are committed to keeping both people and the environment healthy. That's why we've removed many harmful substances from our product designs and go to great lengths to make sure they stay that way."

Apple's environmental chief goes on to list a few examples of safely-made product designs, like PVC-free power cords and mercury-free displays, saying the company will continue to invest in innovative materials and manufacturing processes.

Further, Apple intends to create a new advisory board made up of chemical and pollution prevention experts who will be tasked with finding ways to minimize or eliminate toxins from the tech giant's supply chain. Meetings with stakeholders are also being planned to "seek out the best science, data, and solutions," Jackson says.

Earlier today, it was reported that Apple removed two chemicals -- benzene and n-hexane -- from its list of substances approved for use by partner manufacturers responsible for the final stages of iPhone production. The move came some five months after a petition by activist groups China Labor Watch and Green America called for the company to place a ban on the potentially dangerous substances.

Jackson addresses the claims directly in her letter, pointing out that Apple launched an investigation and sent out specialized research teams to inspect all 22 of its suppliers' final assembly factories. Although no health risks were found, the company decided to tighten restrictions on benzene and n-hexane, prohibiting their use in "final assembly processes."

"We're committed to removing toxins from our products and processes. Because everyone has the right to a safe product and a safe working environment," Jackson writes.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,212member
    Now show me another electronics company that makes data like this publicly available in the tech / electronics sector?

    GO APPLE! 8-)
  • Reply 2 of 18
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Now Apple's discriminating against chemical formulas?! Pathetic¡
  • Reply 3 of 18
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,312member
    "Apple for the first time made its specifications available for the first time."

    And all that, for the first time.
  • Reply 4 of 18
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,312member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MagMan1979 View Post



    Now show me another electronics company that makes data like this publicly available in the tech / electronics sector?



    GO APPLE! image

    Of course, "all final assembly processes" is very late in the manufacturing, and "breathing zone" sounds like operators can be exposed nonetheless (skin, for example). Obviously, Apple is doing more than anyone else, but we're still very far from putting humans first. At least Apple will force manufacturers to take this point into account. Go Apple, indeed!

     

    While I'm at it, am I the only person here to think that the Tim Cook text stating he's not happy with diversity numbers Apple disclosed make little sense? I mean:

    - he's the boss, he can hire who he pleases, so why would he not just hire more people to change the numbers if they "displease him".

    - there is no comparison number available regarding the diversity in births in the USA, so how can we conclude anything? I'm not American so I have not much of a clue of the numbers here, but I guess most people here know better?

    I mean, if there is, say, 10% white people in the USA and 50% white people in Apple, then the diversity numbers are bad. If there is 80% white people in the USA, and 50% in Apple, then Apple is actually biased against white people, which is just as bad. Replace white with gay/jew/bisexual/blind/deaf or whatever Human Resources might be discriminating against/for, point is the same: what's the comparison information? I might be a data freak, but hey, sounds like being in a valid minority to me ^^

    - Besides, shouldn't a company prove that they hired the best person for a given job among the applicants, rather than prove they have a given rate of hires? I thought there was some requirement for companies to try and perform as good as possible for their investors in the USA, and these diversity rules seem to conflict with that requirement by forcing the company to hire second-best people if their diversity origin is more appropriate? I mean by that, if the person hired is always the best, then mathematically the HR can't discriminate based on their personal issues, because they did not hire based on discrimination, but on who's the best? Maybe I'm just naive ^^

     

    Will the bring-manufacturing-back-to-America have an effect on those exposure-to-chemicals rules? A highly roboticized plant like the Mac Pro's doesn't expose many operators to any solvent anyway.

     

    Curious what you people think of all this ^^

  • Reply 5 of 18
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,804member
    While I'm at it, am I the only person here to think that the Tim Cook text stating he's not happy with diversity numbers Apple disclosed make little sense?

    No, you’re not the only one. Lots of people got a bee in their bonnet about that one. I did not partake in the thread dedicated to that piece of news as so many people seemed to be (deliberately or not, I’m not sure) misunderstanding what is going on.

    Those who were upset about the issue were assuming that it meant that Apple hires based on race/religion/orientation etc. etc. in order to meet diversity targets, rather than hiring the best candidate for the job. I do not believe that this is the case, because as you say:
    - he's the boss, he can hire who he pleases, so why would he not just hire more people to change the numbers if they "displease him”.

    No, this is not what Tim Cook wants to do. If you are hiring the best people for the job, and then you look at the diversity in your organisation and you’re not happy with it, the appropriate way to fix the problem is to ensure that all those races/religions/etc. etc. who appear to be underrepresented are being afforded equal opportunity to be the best. It is almost certainly not Apple’s fault directly that their diversity is not where they want it to be, but they can help with things like bursaries for educational scholarships etc.
  • Reply 6 of 18
    You're a moron.
  • Reply 7 of 18
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,804member
    nukem52 wrote: »
    You're a moron.

    Is that post directed at me?

    Normally I’d delete the post and give you an infraction for making a personal attack but as an interested party that probably wouldn’t be appropriate.

    Thank you for spelling “you’re” correctly.
  • Reply 8 of 18
    hydrogenhydrogen Posts: 263member
    i wish Apple bans samsungite, a very toxic substançe.
  • Reply 9 of 18
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    "Apple is undermining China's political authority by actively fomenting worker dissatisfaction and affecting national stability by forcing wages upward!" /s
  • Reply 10 of 18
    solipsismx wrote: »
    Now Apple's discriminating against chemical formulas?! Pathetic¡

    Shouldn’t it be giving all chemical formulas equal opportunities so as to create a diverse environment?
  • Reply 11 of 18
    mr. h wrote: »
    nukem52 wrote: »
    You're a moron.

    Is that post directed at me?

    Normally I’d delete the post and give you an infraction for making a personal attack but as an interested party that probably wouldn’t be appropriate.

    Thank you for spelling “you’re” correctly.

    Hmm. I would say it was directed at you; if I were you, I would delete his post and take other action as needed. But your mercy is commendable. ????
  • Reply 12 of 18
    hydrogen wrote: »
    i wish Apple bans samsungite, a very toxic substançe.

    Nice.
  • Reply 13 of 18
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Shouldn’t it be giving all chemical formulas equal opportunities so as to create a diverse environment?

    Unfairly labeling some chemicals as toxic is discriminatory and offensive to people with chemical imbalances! /s
  • Reply 14 of 18
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Take that Greenpeace!
  • Reply 15 of 18
    It's not supposed to be about proportional representation. The point is that if the majority of your staff are straight white able-bodied men, then they are likely to think like straight white able-bodied men and make products for straight white able-bodied men that solve problems that straight white able-bodied men encounter. By having a more diverse team, and by that I mean more variety of different people from different backgrounds and with different life experiences, you are probably more likely to make products that appeal to a much broader range of people, not just in the US but all over the world. That's not incompatible with hiring the best people for the job, although it is challenging, and Apple can't do it on their own. It relies on being in a society where everyone has equal chance to succeed no matter who they are. A big part of that is access to good education, which seems to be something Apple is trying to address in their industry.
  • Reply 16 of 18
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,312member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by markbriton View Post



    It's not supposed to be about proportional representation. The point is that if the majority of your staff are straight white able-bodied men, then they are likely to think like straight white able-bodied men and make products for straight white able-bodied men that solve problems that straight white able-bodied men encounter. By having a more diverse team, and by that I mean more variety of different people from different backgrounds and with different life experiences, you are probably more likely to make products that appeal to a much broader range of people, not just in the US but all over the world. That's not incompatible with hiring the best people for the job, although it is challenging, and Apple can't do it on their own. It relies on being in a society where everyone has equal chance to succeed no matter who they are. A big part of that is access to good education, which seems to be something Apple is trying to address in their industry.

    I'm all for Apple lobbying for a strong public affordable/free education system, but I'm a socialist. Says so on the can.

  • Reply 17 of 18
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    Take that Greenpeace!

     

  • Reply 18 of 18
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

     

    I'm all for Apple lobbying for a strong public affordable/free education system, but I'm a socialist. Says so on the can.


     

    Incidentally, socialism and capitalism are incompatible systems.

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