Sustainable Procurement News
Latest news, trends, ideas on Sustainable / Responsible Procurement and Green Supply Chain from EcoVadis
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Tech giants pledge to keep children out of cobalt mines that supply smartphone and electric-car batteries

Tech giants pledge to keep children out of cobalt mines that supply smartphone and electric-car batteries | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it
Apple, HP, Samsung SDI and Sony have joined an effort known as the Responsible Cobalt Initiative. It is being led by a Chinese business group, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce for Metals, Minerals and Chemicals Importers and Exporters, and supported by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), according to the Chinese group.

Members of the initiative pledged to follow OECD guidelines for mining supply chains, which call for companies to trace how cobalt is being extracted, transported, manufactured and sold. Any abuses would require immediate correction.
EcoVadis's insight:

Several leading technology companies are launching initiatives to stop abusive practices in their supply chain; how are you engaging yourself?

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Apple is under fire for “excessive overtime” and illegal working conditions in another Chinese factory

Apple is under fire for “excessive overtime” and illegal working conditions in another Chinese factory | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it
Assembling devices for Apple has always been a cyclical, low-margin business, albeit one that was highly desirable when the Steve Jobs-led firm could do no wrong, and its revolutionary products were sure-fire hits. Now that the rest of the world is catching up to Apple on tablets and Google’s Android platform has surpassed the iPhone, there are dangerous new uncertainties for business models with barely any room for error.
Conditions at Apple’s other major manufacturer, Foxconn, have historically been poor, with underage children making products in the factories, and multiple suicides reported. Go get more robots, Apple. Humans don’t deserve this.
EcoVadis's insight:

Companies such as Apple are going through hard times for not having a proper monitoring of their supply chain; how are you ensuring that these type of investigations don't fall on your company?

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Improving worker conditions in the global supply chain is good business

Improving worker conditions in the global supply chain is good business | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it
Reports on Apple's China factory reveal an urgent need for global manufacturers to improve worker conditions. A new study says it makes financial, as well as moral, sense
EcoVadis's insight:

"Some of the labour-related investments that were modelled could cause profit margins to rise as much as 0.4% – a significant windfall in an industry where margins typically range between 1% and 2%. In some cases, this financial payback can occur in as little as four to 20 months."

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Apple Makes New Pledges on Conflict Minerals, Should Begin Clean Congo Sourcing Program | RAISE Hope for Congo

Apple Makes New Pledges on Conflict Minerals, Should Begin Clean Congo Sourcing Program | RAISE Hope for Congo | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

Tech giant Apple has come a long way on conflict minerals. In 2010, they were one of the worst consumer electronics companies in their response to this serious problem, and Enough Project, Campus Progress, and A Thousand Sisters protested the opening of their store in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. But Apple has started to turn the corner on conflict minerals with some substantial steps.


EcoVadis's insight:

Apple recently joined the Public Private Alliance on Responsible Minerals Trade.  With such large players entering the game,  conflict minerals due diligence is gaining momentum. Of particular interest is Apple's transparency effort and policy to require its supplier to source from certified smelters. Ongoing monitoring is recommended!

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Big Question (Answered): "Can Online Petitions Change Foxconn Conditions?"

Big Question (Answered): "Can Online Petitions Change Foxconn Conditions?" | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

The pressure on Apple to adress CSR supply chain issues is mounting : The conditions of workers at Foxconn have been the subject of discussion for the past few years, but lately more and more people seem to be interested in how the workers at the tech manufacturing giant fare.

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AppleInsider | Apple, Chinese environmental groups meet to discuss supplier pollution concerns

AppleInsider | Apple, Chinese environmental groups meet to discuss supplier pollution concerns | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

Apple recently met with five Chinese environmental protection groups to address concerns over domestic supplier pollution after reports had criticized the company for using loopholes in the system.

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This is where your smartphone battery begins

This is where your smartphone battery begins | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it
The Post traced this cobalt pipeline and, for the first time, showed how cobalt mined in these harsh conditions ends up in popular consumer products. It moves from small-scale Congolese mines to a single Chinese company — Congo DongFang International Mining, part of one of the world’s biggest cobalt producers, Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt — that for years has supplied some of the world’s largest battery makers. They, in turn, have produced the batteries found inside products such as Apple’s iPhones — a finding that calls into question corporate assertions that they are capable of monitoring their supply chains for human rights abuses or child labor.
EcoVadis's insight:

Scary to see how locals are paying the price for multinationals greediness. 

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Two tech companies win first Stop Slavery Award after workforce scrutiny

Two multi-national tech companies previously questioned over labour and workforce conditions have won a new global award for turning the spotlight onto their own supply chains to eradicate modern day slavery from their operations.
The inaugural Thomson Reuters Foundation Stop Slavery Award was conferred on U.S. technology company Hewlett Packard Enterprise and NXP Semiconductors, the world's largest chip supplier to the automotive industry.
The winners were chosen from a shortlist of 10 companies employing thousands of people in sectors ranging from electronics to retail to mining and included Apple, Tesco and global seafood producer Thai Union.

EcoVadis's insight:

After being suspected of having doubtful labour conditions, these two companies bounced back and cleaned their supply chain. Have you ever experienced this kind of situation?

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HP cracks down on forced labor from temps, students in China

HP cracks down on forced labor from temps, students in China | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

HP has given direction to its Chinese suppliers that the use of temporary and student workers should be limited and should not be forced.

EcoVadis's insight:

In the wake of Apple's widely publicized supply chain controversies, competitors are jumping in to roll out sustainable procurement strategy in their supply chain in China. As the articles puts it, the demographic reality in China compels factories facing surges in demand to often make an excessive use of temporary labor.

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Riley McCoy's comment, May 3, 2013 11:12 AM
Due to another failed plan of action by the chinese they are left with an aging population, smaller workforce, and not enough children or young people to care for there elderly parents. They should not have to resort to going to high school students and other underage workers to have to get there products mass produced.
zach Wilz's comment, May 3, 2013 2:53 PM
I dont think its fair that these kids are being overworked. I think that HP is doing the right thing by cracking down on these young kids working.
Zach Deaton's comment, May 6, 2013 11:04 AM
This could be a good thing if it's scaled back and kids are given jobs related to their study. It should be a optional "course."
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Apple says child labour found at suppliers [China]

Apple says child labour found at suppliers [China] | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

"Apple found 11 facilities across its supply chain using child labour last year, the iPhone maker said in its annual “Supplier Responsibility” report. The California-based company…said it had uncovered 106 “active cases” of children being employed by its suppliers over the course of 2012…None of those individuals is still employed by the suppliers, after Apple worked with its partners to help them spot fake identification documents or falsified records."

EcoVadis's insight:

Since Apple joined the Fair Labor Association in January 2012, we can praise the company efforts towards more transparent supply chain accomplished so far.

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DrewClark's comment, February 5, 2013 9:40 PM
Is Apple really going to begin manufacturing in the United States?
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Sustainable Sourcing: Time for Apple to give up some of its secrets? 

Chinese suppliers have posed something of a PR dilemma for Apple for some time now. On the one hand the business has found great value not only in its legendary secret supply chain tactics and close engagement with low-cost country sourcing. On the other, stories of the environmental transgressions among alleged Apple suppliers are harder to keep quiet....

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