Apple suppliers for the first time achieved 100 percent UL Zero Waste to Landfill validation for all final assembly sites in China, according to the company’s 2017 Supplier Responsibility progress report.
The average environment assessment score across Apple’s 705 supply chain assessments in 2016 was 87 out of 100. The company says the majority of violations found in 2016 were related to hazardous substance management and environmental permits.
In 2016, Apple suppliers’ facilities diverted more than 200,000 metric tons of waste from landfills, compared to 74,000 metric tons in 2015, according to the report.
One of the sites to achieve UL Zero Waste to Landfill validation in 2016 was the Tech-Com final assembly supplier in Shanghai. Apple says it discovered that more than 20 percent of the waste produced at this facility was being incinerated or going to landfills. The company worked with the supplier and the local recycling facility to develop a better process for separating and recycling waste, enabling Tech-Com to recycle 100 percent of its manufacturing waste. The facility also developed a new process for managing food waste, which it now sends to a local composter instead of a landfill.
Since 2015, Tech-Com has diverted more than 10,000 metric tons of waste from landfills, according to the supplier responsibility report.
Apple’s Clean Water Program, which focuses on using less freshwater in suppliers’ processes and increasing the reuse and recycling of treated wastewater, saved more than 3.8 billion gallons of freshwater in 2016. This represents a 35 percent average reuse rate across 86 sites.
Since 2013, the water management program has saved more than 8 billion gallons of freshwater, Apple says.
Apple is also working to reduce supply chain emissions by increasing suppliers’ renewable energy use. In 2016, Apple tripled the number of supplier sites participating in its energy efficiency program, thus reducing more than 150,000 metric tons of carbon emissions.
The report says several large suppliers have already committed to power all Apple manufacturing with renewable energy by the end of 2018. The company expects this to reduce carbon emissions by 7,000,000 metric tons per year.