Here’s How Apple Is Improving Supply Chain Labor Conditions

Apple campusApple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has enlisted the services of some preeminent academics to help the company in its efforts to further improve the working conditions in its supply chain reports Apple Insider. According to Brown University’s Watson Institute website, the all-volunteer academic advisory board is being led by Brown University Professor and Watson Institute Director Professor Richard Locke.

The board will examine and make recommendations about Apple’s current supply chain practices based on existing research. It may also conduct or commission its own studies of Apple’s supply chain labor standards. Via the Watson Institute website, Locke said he hoped the board would ensure that Apple’s supply chain workers “are paid living wages, work within the legal work hour regimes, [and] work in environments that are safe and where they can express their rights as citizens.”

Besides Professor Locke, the board also includes Mark Cullen of Stanford University; Eli Friedman of Cornell University; Mary Gallagher of the University of Michigan; Margaret Levi of the University of Washington; Dara O’Rourke of the University of California, Berkeley; Charles Sabel of Columbia University; and Annelee Saxenian of the University of California, Berkeley.

Any new research that is conducted by the group will be published in professional academic journals. Apple maintains its own Supplier Responsibility page on its official website that outlines the company’s efforts to improve labor conditions and protect supply chain workers’ rights.

Earlier this month, Apple was accused by the Friends of the Earth environmental organization of illegally using tin from Bangka Island, Indonesia. A  Friends of the Earth report claims that an average of one miner a week died in Bangka’s tin mines in 2011. Apple responded to the allegations by announcing that it is leading a “fact-finding visit” to the region and initiating “an EICC [Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition] working group focused on this issue.”

Here’s how Apple closed out the trading week.


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