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BUS 475 Business And Society

Published : 13-Oct,2021  |  Views : 10

Question

Challenges in the Global Business Environment

According to the textbook, ongoing challenges in the global business environment are mostly attributed to unethical business practices, failure to embrace technology advancements, and stiff competition among businesses. Imagine that you have been appointed as Apple's Chief Compliance Officer and must prepare a video presentation for Apple's suppliers regarding Apple's Supplier Code of Conduct to deliver via a web meeting. To prepare for your presentation, review Apple's Supplier Code of Conduct, located at https://www.apple.com/supplier-responsibility/. Next, use a tablet, smartphone, laptop, desktop, or traditional video recorder to record a maximum of a five to seven dynamic video on Apple's Code of Conduct.

Answer

Challenges in the Business Environment

Introduction

Apple has developed very high standards for supplier’s code of conduct for which the company makes efforts to achieve by helping the suppliers. Apple ensures that the workers are briefed on their employment rights and responsibilities and receive fair treatment at work (Green, 2015). Apple also ensures that no form of bonded labor is being deployed by the suppliers to maintain the integrity of the company. Apple has also been consistently involved in reducing the greenhouse and carbon emission to maintain the sustainability.

Discussion of Apple’s stance on the following areas: 

Empowering workers 

Training: Apple ensures that workers undergo an extensive training program and over 9.25 million workers have been successfully trained by Apple suppliers (Apple, 2017). The training equips them with the understanding of local laws, code of conduct and safety regulations.

Change: SEED Program

Apple introduced Supplier Employee Education and Development program for the workers through which it provides them skills development training. The program creates job opportunities for the factory workers and offers them a career path.

Labor and Human Rights 

Fixed working hours: Apple ensures that the workers are not forced to work for more than 60 hours per week and get one day rest in a week. The process has been implemented through work-hour tracking tool along with weekly reporting. The average recorded working hours for Apple have been found to be 55 hours per week (Apple, 2017).

Change: Mineral Mining

Apple ensures ethical means of sourcing for the products such as tin, gold, tantalum and tungsten. Apple has been able to identify the smelters and refiners who were involved within the supply chain activities of Apple. This has brought a huge change within the company and is a big step to bring peace and harmony over the globe. Apple was able to completely eliminate unethical sourcing activities in December, 2015 (Apple, 2017). Apple has deployed strict audit processes which are conducted by third parties to protect the human rights of civilians (Green SCM, 2015).

Apple has deployed continuous engagement to ensure transparency within the system. Apple has enhanced its regional monitoring and reporting system to acknowledge an insight of mineral supply chain of Congo. Apple has enhanced the supply chain process of gold in the year 2016 and in case the unethical groups try to involve within the supply chain process, the incident gets reported (Apple, 2017). In order to bring complete equality, Apple has allied with some similar companies who are also making efforts to bring positive change within the mineral industry (Chasan, 2016).

Mining in Indonesia: Apple carried out extensive research in Indonesia to find out unsustainable activities being implemented which put workers’ life at risk and polluting of the natural environment including ocean and soil. Apple allied with IDH, ITRI, NGO, Sustainable Trade Initiative and companies using tin, to reform the worsened conditions (Clover, 2016).

The Environment, Health and Safety 

Apple has strategically partnered with the suppliers to control the greenhouse gas radiations and pollution from the manufacturing unit. The company introduced Clean Energy Program in the year 2015 to minimize the carbon radiations (Apple, 2017). It also installed 2 gigawatts clean energy in China.

Change: Waste Management

The manufacturing waste was disposed to the lands in the unit of Foxconn Zhengzhou, which is one of the assembling units of Apple. Apple allied with a third-party Underwriters Laboratories to identify the waste streams. A system was generated to regulate the waste material and promote recyclability. The company also explored new methods of inbound packaging and approximately 40% of waste was out to recycle (Apple, 2017). Foxconn Zhengzhou has become 96% land waste free by 2016 (Vincent, 2017).

Accountability 

Apple ensures accountability by implementing following standards:

Code of Conduct for Suppliers: Apple’s code of conduct ensures that the workers are being treated with dignity and equality and work under safe environment conditions.

Audits: Apple conducts supplier audit to ensure that the company’s standards are being adhered to. The audit is carried out by the company with the support of third party. The workers are interviewed and undergo medical checkups to ensure that they work under safe conditions.

Change: Factory Conditions of Liuyang

The factory of Liuyang develops cover glass for Apple’s products. In one of the Apple’s audit, it was found that the supplier was not following the labor laws and the workers had to work beyond the standard limit. Apple did not penalize the company, instead it helped them to improve the working conditions. Supplier Nikko was able to improve its audit score by 29% after receiving support from Apple (Apple, 2017).

Apple’s Progress Report

Apple has been able to bring out the following changes through its consistent efforts and hard work:

  1. Apple has been able to reduce carbon emissions by 13.8K metric tons at 13 of its manufacturing units through its strategic partnership with the suppliers (McLean, 2016).
  2. Apple preserved 3.8 billion gallons of freshwater through its Clean Water Program. The company is consistently making efforts for recycling of treated wastewater (Apple, 2017).
  3. Apple also introduced EHS Academy to train the workers on environment, health and safety skills. It also allied with the local universities to create its EHS program of 18 months (Apple, 2017).

Operating as a socially responsible organization

Apple has taken various measures to carry out its social responsibility and few of them are:

Bonded labor: Apple ensures that no form of bonded labor is being deployed in the manufacturing unit. The company also ensures that the workers do not have to bear recruitment fees which push them into debt. The company collaborated with International Organization for Migration to develop a program that would brief the workers on their rights and responsibilities, terms and conditions and code of conduct (BBC, 2015).

Child labor: Apple also makes sure that no underage worker is being employed at the factory. In case a child is found working at the factory, he or she is provided complete education along with the fulfillment of basic needs. Once they complete their education and have attained the qualified age, they can join the factory.

Creating opportunities: Apple has developed Supplier Employee Education and Development program to help the workers identify and explore new opportunities. They are given training on skills development, HRM, graphic designing and English.

References

Apple. (2017). Supplier Responsibility: 2016 Progress Report. Apple. Retrieved from: https://www.apple.com/supplier-responsibility/pdf/Apple_SR_2016_Progress_Report.pdf

BBC. (2015). Apple bans 'bonded servitude' for factory workers. BBC News. Retrieved from: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-31438699

Chasan, E. (2016). Apple Says Supply Chain Now 100% Audited for Conflict Minerals. Retrieved from: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-30/apple-says-supply-chain-now-100-audited-for-conflict-minerals

Clover, J. (2016). Apple Outlines Milestone on Eliminating Conflict Minerals in 2016 Supplier Responsibility Report. Macrumors. Retrieved from: https://www.macrumors.com/2016/03/30/apple-2016-supplier-responsibility-report/

Green SCM. (2015). Green Supply Chain News: Apple Increases Supplier Audits by 42% in 2014. Green SCM. Retrieved from: http://www.thegreensupplychain.com/NEWS/15-02-16-2.php

Green, W. (2015). Apple 'terminated relationships' with 18 suppliers due to sustainability code violations. CIPS. Retrieved from: https://www.cips.org/supply-management/news/2015/february/apple-terminated-relationships-with-18-suppliers-due-to-sustainability-code-violations/

McLean, A. (2016). Apple shows solid progress in latest supplier responsibility report. ZDNet.  Retrieved from: http://www.zdnet.com/article/apple-shows-solid-progress-in-latest-supplier-responsibility-report/

Vincent, J. (2017). Foxconn considers $7 billion US display factory in cooperation with Apple. The Verge. Retrieved from: http://www.theverge.com/2017/1/23/14355668/foxconn-apple-display-factory-7-billion-investment

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