Oh boy, Apple is sure making some significant changes to the way it handles its environmental and labor rights. Yesterday, Apple released its annual Supplier Responsibility Progress Report for 2012, but more importantly Apple is the first company to join the Fair Labor Association (FLA). This means that the FLA will monitor suppliers’ facilities from now.
To top it off, The London Evening Standard reports (via GigaOM) that Apple is also going to start requiring cable supplier Volex to spend up to $6 million retooling its production lines. By doing so, Volex will be able to eliminate halogens from the power and USB cables used in the company’s products. This will allow the cables to be less toxic to the environment upon disposal. Clearly, Apple’s evil and doesn’t care about the environment!
Apple is the biggest customer of Volex, 23%-owned by billionaire financier Nat Rothschild, which makes the power cables and USB leads used in everything from laptops to iPhones and iPads.
But the US firm is on a drive to move its products towards halogen-free power cables, which are less harmful to the environment when disposed of.
The start-up costs in designing and making the new cables will cost it up to $6 million in the current financial year, Volex said today, although, stripping out these one-off costs, profits will be in line with market expectation
In the past, Apple has been criticized from environmental advocacy groups such as Greenpeace, but recently the company has improved its environmental efforts in recent surveys as it continues to shift to more eco-friendly solutions. It seems that with all the announcements made, Tim Cook is trying to close this supplier labor fiasco once and for all.