In the past, Apple has gotten a fair amount of flak regarding working conditions in the factories of their partners, such as Foxconn. Apple has since made efforts to change that perception by instating rules and regulations that would ensure that their manufacturing partners adhere to certain guidelines.
In fact these guidelines extend to the use of conflict material in Apple products to ensure that certain components are not sourced from particular regions in the world. However it seems that despite Apple’s best practices to ensure that their partners follow their guidelines, there are some who feel that Apple has not done enough.
A recent campaign by Green America has called on customers to boycott Apple’s products unless the Cupertino were to make changes in its production and supply chain operations. According to the campaign’s demands, they want Apple to substitute toxic chemicals such as benzene and n-hexane which are used in Apple’s supply chain.
The group claims that it would cost Apple $1 per product to substitute out those harmful chemicals, although admittedly $1 is a lot of money when you think about how many iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers that Apple produces on an annual basis, so while $1 per product might seem relatively low, it could end up eating into Apple’s profits.
The campaign is also asking for Apple to create a healthcare fund for workers who have fallen sick during the manufacturing of its products. According to Elizabeth O’Connell, the campaign director of Green America, “We’re hoping that those who are loyal Apple customers will still write to Apple to voice their concerns. We know from experience that once you get a certain amount of consumer pressure, the company will listen to that opinion.”
In a statement that was released by Apple, “When it comes to handling chemicals and toxic substances, we require that our suppliers around the world meet or exceed respected U.S. safety standards such as OSHA, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. Last year, we conducted nearly 200 factory inspections, which focused on hazardous chemicals, to make sure those facilities meet our strict standards. We also provide suppliers with training in hazardous chemical management, industrial hygiene and personal protection equipment as part of the Apple Supplier EHS Academy in Suzhou, China.”