Founded in 1976. Today Apple is the world's largest IT company. Products include iPod, iPhone, iPad, Mac, iTunes, Apple TV.
Greenpeace's 2017 report 'Clicking Clean' looks at the energy footprints of large data centre operators and popular websites and applications, and calls on these companies to power their data centres on renewable energy. Companies are graded (A,B,C,D,F) on their commitment to and procurement of renewable energy, as well as energy efficiency, transparency and advocacy. This company's final grade was A.
Source: Greenpeace (2017)
In 2019, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change risk. Responding companies are scored across four key areas: disclosure; awareness; management; and leadership. This company received a CDP Climate Change Score of A.
Source: CDP (2019)
This company is listed on the EPA Green Power Partnership website (USA), as using renewable energy for 101% of its organisation-wide electricity use in the USA.
Source: EPA (2020)
In 2019 the Mind the Store campaign ranked 43 major US retailers on their efforts to eliminate toxic chemicals from consumer products. This company received a grade of A+.
Source: Mind the Store (2019)
In November 2017 the Enough Project published Demand the Supply, which ranked consumer electronics and jewelry retail companies on their efforts to develop conflict-free minerals supply chains from Congo. Companies were ranked on reporting; sourcing conflict-free minerals from Congo; supporting the artisanal mining communities in Eastern Congo; and conflict-free minerals advocacy. This company received the highest overall score.
Source: Enough Project (2017)
In 2018 KnowTheChain benchmarked 120 large global companies in the ICT, Food & Beverage, and Apparel & Footwear sectors on their efforts to address forced labour and human trafficking in their supply chains. This company received a score of 71/100.
Source: KnowTheChain (2018)
As You Sow's 2019 report, Mining the Disclosures, is a deep analysis of 215 companies' human rights performance in relation to sourcing conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This company's score was 83.7% (Leading).
Source: As You Sow (2019)
This company received a grade of B- in the Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics (Oct 2017), which assesses companies from the electronics industry across three impact areas: energy use, resource consumption, and chemical elimination. Of the 17 companies ranked, this company came second.
Source: Greenpeace (2017)
This 2016 scorecard by SOMO compares electronics companies on their policies and efforts regarding responsible mining and the elimination of child labour, with special attention to the mining of gold. This company is above industry standard on 5 out of 7 criteria.
Source: Stop Child Labour (2016)
B+ grade in the Baptist World Aid Australia's Behind the Barcode 'Ethical Electronics Guide 2016', which grades companies on their efforts to mitigate the risks of forced labour, child labour and worker exploitation throughout their supply chains. Assessment criteria fall into four main categories: policies, traceability & transparency, monitoring & training and worker rights.
Source: Baptist World Aid Australia (2016)
A 2017 report by Amnesty International, 'Time to Recharge' ranks major electronics and car companies on how much they have improved their cobalt sourcing practices since January 2016. The report found that while a handful of companies have made progress, many are still not doing enough to stop human rights abuses entering their cobalt supply chains, even though their products could be linked to child labour in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This company was rated 'adequate action taken'.
Source: Amnesty Intl (2017)
This company is listed as having best practice on a report card on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality in corporate America.
Source: Human Rights Campaign (2019)
This company received a score of 71.5/100 in the Newsweek Green Ranking 2017, which ranks the world's largest publicly traded companies on eight indicators covering energy, greenhouse gases, water, waste, fines and penalties, linking executive pay to sustainability targets, board-level committee oversight of environmental issues and third-party audits. Ranking methodology by Corporate Knights and HIP Investor.
Source: Newsweek (2017)
The 2017 documentary 'Complicit' reveals how Chinese workers making Apple consumer electronics are exposed to poisonous chemicals, in particular cleaning solutions containing benzene. The landmark investigation led Apple to ban the use of benzene, a known carcinogen, and n-hexane, a chemical that damages the nervous system. But the ban does not apply to subcontractors who make up two-thirds of Apple's supply chain.
Source: ABC (2018)
This company appears on Burma Campaign UK's 'Dirty List' of companies assisting the Burmese military to continue to commit human rights violations and environmental destruction. The Apple App Store carries applications for Burmese military-owned companies, including Mytel.
Source: Burma Campaign UK (2019)
This 2014 report by China Labour Watch (CLW) investigates working conditions at a Chinese factory supplying to Apple. The report reveals many labour violations in this factory, including long hours, excessive overtime, dangerous working conditions, low wages, and underpaid workers. CLW investigated the same factory 16 months earlier, and conditions worsened during that time.
Source: China Labour Watch (2014)
The Chinese government has facilitated the mass transfer of Uyghur and other ethnic minority citizens from the far west region of Xinjiang to factories across the country. Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labour, Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including brands owned by this company. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute's 2020 report estimates (somewhat conservatively) that more than 80,000 Uyghurs were transferred out of Xinjiang to work in factories across China between 2017 and 2019, and some of them were sent directly from detention camps.
Source: ASPI (2020)
In 2016 Apple was ordered to pay back the Irish state up to 13bn euros in back taxes after the European commission ruled that a sweetheart tax deal between Apple and the Irish tax authorities amounted to illegal state aid. The commission said the deal allowed Apple to pay a maximum tax rate of just 1%. In 2014, the tech firm paid tax at just 0.005%. The usual rate of corporation tax in Ireland is 12.5%.
Source: The Guardian (2016)
Engineers from ifixit.com disassembled and analysed a range of smartphones, tablets and laptops, awarding each a repairability score between one and ten. Ten is the easiest to repair. A device with a perfect score will be relatively inexpensive to repair because it is easy to disassemble and has a service manual available. Points are docked based on the difficulty of opening the device, the types of fasteners found inside, and the complexity involved in replacing major components. Points are awarded for upgradability, use of non-proprietary tools for servicing, and component modularity. Laptops and tablets released by this company between 2017 and 2019 scored between 1 and 3 points, while their iPhones score 6 points.
Source: iFixit (2020)
In July 2014 Apple agreed to pay up to US$450m in its conditional settlement over allegations that the company conspired with several big publishers to fix e-book prices. This is conditional on the result of Apple's pending appeal in the Federal Appeals Court of the 2013 ruling by a New York Federal judge that Apple had violated anti-trust laws.
Source: Fortune (2014)
This company was one of four companies that agreed to pay a total of US$324m to settle a class action lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to hold down salaries in Silicon Valley by agreeing not to recruit or poach employees from each other. However in Aug 2014 a US court rejected this settlement on the basis that more than 60,000 top-level workers were affected, saying that the amount should be larger. The settlement amount was changed to US$415m in 2015.
Source: news article (2015)
This company scores Ethical Consumer's worst rating for the likely use of tax avoidance strategies, and has at least two high risk subsidiaries in tax havens.
Source: Ethical Consumer (2018)
This company received an S&P Global ESG Score of 29/100 in the Computers & Peripherals and Office Electronics category of the 2019 SAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment, an annual evaluation of companies' sustainability practices. The rankings are based on an analysis of corporate economic, environmental and social performance, assessing issues such as corporate governance, risk management, environmental reporting, climate strategy, human rights and labour practices.
Source: S&P Global (2019)
Biel Crystal supplies 60% of the world's touchscreen cover glasses, including 60% of Apple products' cover glasses. This SACOM 2013 investigative report discovered serious labour rights abuses in Biel Crystal's Chinese factories including excessive working hours, military-style management, worker suicides and blank work contracts. Moreover, Biel Crystal's Shenzhen factory has been fined by the Shenzhen municipal government for 3 continuous years of polluting the environment. [Listed under Information due to age of report]
Source: SACOM (2013)
In this 2012 investigative report SACOM revisited Foxconn's plants in Zhengzhou, China, whose sole product is the iPhone. Workers are still facing deplorably harsh working conditions including excessive overtime, unpaid overtime, meager wages, inadequate training and protection for workers, arbitrary relocation of workforce, crackdown on strikes, and inhumane management practices. [Listed under information due to age of report]
Source: SACOM (2012)
This 2012 report by China Labour Watch investigates ten Chinese factories supplying to Apple. The report reveals many labour violations in these factories, including long hours, excessive overtime, dangerous working conditions, low wages, and underpaid workers. [Listed under Information due to age of report]
Source: China Labour Watch (2012)
The Poisonous Pearl is a 2016 report by Good Electronics which focuses on the experiences of (former) workers in the electronics industry in China who are victims of chemical poisoning. The health of all the workers in the report was damaged by exposure to hazardous chemicals such as benzene and n-hexane. All were working in large or small factories in the Pearl River Delta-region of China, an area well known as being a global hub for the production of consumer electronics (ICT). This company is supplied by factories in the region.
Source: SOMO (2016)
In 2013 a Chinese court fined Apple US$160,400 over a copyright infringement, saying the company sold pirated electronic books via its App Store. Under the court ruling, Apple must pay compensation to eight Chinese writers and two companies for violating their copyright. Apple also paid 60 million yuan (US$9.62m) in 2013 to a China's Proview Technology, to settle a dispute over the iPad trademark in China.
Source: news article (2013)
This company is a signatory to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, whose goal is to eliminate plastic pollution at its source.
Source: New Plastics Economy (2019)
As listed on the We Mean Business website, this company has committed to the following climate action initiatives: commit to 100% renewable power.
Source: We Mean Business (2017)
This company is a participant in the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA), a multi-sector and multi-stakeholder initiative to support supply chain solutions to conflict minerals challenges in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Great Lakes Region (GLR) of Central Africa. The PPA provides funding and coordination support to organizations working within the region to develop verifiable conflict-free supply chains; align chain-of-custody programs and practices; encourage responsible sourcing from the region; promote transparency; and bolster in-region civil society and governmental capacity.
Source: PPA (2019)
This company is a member of the Responsible Business Alliance (formerly the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition), a non-profit coalition of electronics companies which supports the rights and wellbeing of workers and communities worldwide affected by the global electronics supply chain. RBA members commit and are held accountable to a common Code of Conduct and utilize a range of RBA training and assessment tools to support continuous improvement in the social, environmental and ethical responsibility of their supply chains.
Source: RBA (2017)
This company is a member of the Circular Economy 100 (CE100) Network, a multi-stakeholder platform run by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The CE100 is the world's leading circular economy network, and facilitates market making by providing collaborative and pre-competitive opportunities which bring together business, innovators, cities and governments, universities, and thought leaders.
Source: Ellen MacArthur Foundation (2019)
This company is a member of the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3), a business-to-business forum that advances the application of green chemistry and design for environment across supply chains. It provides an open forum for cross-sectoral collaboration to share information and experiences about the challenges to and opportunities for safer chemicals and products.
Source: GC3 (2019)
This company is a member of the Responsible Minerals Initiative (formerly the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative), which helps companies address conflict minerals issues in their supply chains. The RMI provides information on conflict-free smelters and refiners, common tools to gather sourcing information, and forums for exchanging best practices on addressing conflict minerals. Membership is open to companies that use or transact in tantalum, tin, tungsten or gold (3TG). Founded in 2008 by members of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative.
Source: RMI (2019)
This company has extensive environmental responsibility claims on its website.
Source: company website (2020)
The Electronics TakeBack Coalition's Recycling Report Card evaluates takeback and recycling programs for computer, TV, printer and game console companies. The report card focuses on the programs available to consumers in the US, and relies on publicly available information, as of Sept 2010. This company received a grade of C+ for its recycling efforts in the USA.
Source: Electronics TakeBack Coalition (2010)
A 2012 audit of Foxconn performed by the Fair Labor Association at the request of Apple Inc. found excessive overtime and problems with overtime compensation; several health and safety risks; and crucial communication gaps that have led to a widespread sense of unsafe working conditions among workers.
Source: Fair Labour Association (2012)
California, the UK and Australia have all enacted legislation requiring companies operating within their borders to disclose their efforts to eradicate modern slavery from their operations and supply chains. Follow the link to see this company's disclosure statement.
Source: Modern Slavery Registry (2017)
The 2019 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark assessed 200 of the largest publicly traded companies in the world from the Agricultural Products, Apparel, Extractives and ICT Manufacturing sectors on 100 human rights indicators. This company's score was in the 30-40 band range. The overall average score was a disappointing 24%.
Source: CHRB (2019)
Apple has received much criticism for the use of sweatshop labor, environmental destruction, and unethical business practices as a result of the method they undertake to produce electronics. See an extensive list of criticisms on Wikipedia by following the link below.
Source: Wikipedia (2014)
OpenSecrets.org tracks the influence of money on U.S. politics, and how that money affects policy and citizens' lives. Follow link to see this company's record of political donations, lobbying, outside spending and more.
Source: Open Secrets (2014)
|Company Structure||Public company|
|Revenue||US$229 billion in 2017|
|# Employees||123,000 in 2017|
|Subsidiaries||Apple Pty Ltd
Beats Electronics LLC
|Address||Cupertino, California, USA|
Products / BrandsApple Australia
Apple HomePod Smart Speakers
Apple Mac Desktop Computers
Apple Macbook Laptops
Apple Music Music Streaming
Apple Watch Smartwatches
Apple's Broken Promises, 4 Corners
2nd Mar 2015 — Apple is the most valuable brand on the planet, making products that consumers love to buy. But how does this company treat its workers, when the world isn't looking? The BBC's Panorama program goes undercover inside the factory in China that makes the big-selling Apple iPhone 6. There we see the price paid by Chinese workers on the production line. But it isn't just the factories that turn out the products that create questionable conditions for health and safety. Reporter Richard Bilton goes to Indonesia to see the abysmal conditions of miners and their children working to gather tin used in electronic products. APPLE'S BROKEN PROMISES, reported by Richard Bilton and presented by Kerry O'Brien, goes to air on Monday 2nd March at 8.30pm on ABC. It is replayed on Tuesday 3rd March at 10.00am and Wednesday 4th March at midnight. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm and ABC iview. (This program is very relevant with 'Shop Ethical's Guide to Electronics' to be released in March 2015). [source]