Apple Shares 2020 Supplier Responsibility Report Detailing COVID-19 Precautions

Apple today shared its 2020 Supplier Responsibility progress report [PDF], and as noted by TechCrunch, it includes a letter that details Apple’s plans to increase safety and protection in its worldwide supply chain in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.


Authored by Sabih Khan, Apple’s senior vice president of operations, the letter details changes that Apple has made to protect its supply chain partners, such as strict adherence to social distancing, limiting density, and health screenings.

This pandemic has left no country untouched, and we want to thank all our suppliers around the world for their commitment, flexibility and care for their teams as we navigate COVID-19’s complex and rapidly evolving impacts. From the outset, we worked with our suppliers to develop and execute a plan that puts the health of people first. Thousands of Apple employees have worked tirelessly to execute that plan in partnership with our suppliers around the world.

Some of the measures that Apple has put in place include the following:

  • Personal protective equipment during work and in common areas is required.
  • Masks and sanitizer have been provided to employees.
  • Enhanced deep cleaning protocols and been implemented.
  • Suppliers have redesigned and reconfigured factory floorplans where needed for social distancing.
  • Flexible working hours and staggered work shifts have been implemented for maximizing interpersonal space.

Apple is also sharing its plans with other organizations in the hopes of establishing similar standards across the industry.

The 2020 Supplier Responsibility Report was created based on interviews with 52,000 workers, with Apple auditing suppliers in 49 countries, up from 30 in 2018. There were 1142 total audits in 2019. Some additional highlights from the report:

  • $1.3 million in recruitment fees were repaid to employees in 2019.
  • There was a 53% year over year increase in supplier sites committed to achieving zero waste.
  • 30.5 billion gallons of freshwater have been conserved by suppliers to date.
  • Apple saw 100 percent participation in third-party audits across tin, tantalum, tungsten, gold, and cobalt smelters and refiners.
  • There was a 13% increase in high-performing supplier facilities year over year.
  • Less than one percent of Apple’s suppliers were considered low-performing.
  • Over 154,700 suppliers used SEED learning opportunities in 2019.
  • 41 people took part in Apple’s intensive app development course with a 100 percent graduation rate.

Full details about Apple’s supply chain can be read in the full Supplier Responsibility Report. [PDF]

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