Last year the tech giant conducted compliance audits at 633 facilities — a 40 percent increase from 2013.
Three of the sites were suspended for repeating a violation of no or inadequate environmental impact assessment approval. Once the EIR reports were complete and approved by the local environmental protection agencies, the facilities resumed production.
Another five were suspended for releasing waste air without treatment. Apple says the violating sites installed equipment to filter discharged air and put monitoring protocols in place.
And seven were suspended for directly discharging wastewater into storm pipe or sewage systems without treatment. Apple says the seven were required to implement wastewater collection and treatment systems before production resumed.
Other environmental audit findings include:
- Eleven facilities were using restricted chemicals. Apples says it required these facilities to stop using the hazardous chemicals and find alternatives. None of these sites were final assembly facilities.
- Eighty-three facilities had no secondary containment for hazardous substances and 71 had insufficient secondary containment. Remediation included implementing proper containment.
- One hundred thirty four facilities had no or inadequate air emissions monitoring. Apple required these sites to employ qualified vendors to monitor air emissions and take corrective action such as upgrading emissions treatment when needed.
- Thirty-four facilities had no EIA reports and 48 had no EIA report approval.
The supplier report also highlights Apple’s 2014 environmental progress including:
- Expanding the Clean Water Program to cover 50 percent of total water withdrawal for its top 200 suppliers.
- Helping 13 suppliers save half a billion gallons of freshwater.
- Enrolling more than 392 participants in the EHS Academy, now covering about 900,000 workers.
In 2013, nearly half of the 55 Apple suppliers that underwent a focused environmental audit violated the company’s standards, according to the company’s 2014 supply chain progress report.