- One of Apple's major component suppliers, Florida-based Jabil Circuit Inc., has announced it will use only 100% renewable energy by the end of 2018, Axios reported Tuesday.
- Jabil Circuit, which makes the aluminum housing for iPhones along with other parts, is the company's first U.S. supplier to offer 100% renewable power. Nearly one billion kilowatt hours will be saved as a result.
- A total of 7 foreign-based suppliers have also undertaken to use only renewable energy for Apple-related operations. As Apple's supply chain is responsible for roughly three-quarters of its carbon footprint, reducing supplier emissions has a big impact.
The influence a powerful company has on its suppliers can't be overestimated, and in the case of Apple, leveraging its sustainability goals is a net positive for all involved.
In fact, Apple has had worldwide success in dispersing its policy of sustainability. In 2016, the Lens Technology company, a major Apple supplier in China, pledged to move toward sole reliance on renewable energy by 2018 in its glass production for the company. It was the first Apple supplier to make a clean-energy commitment.
Now, as Axios reports, there are seven such suppliers including Jabil, which itself is the third largest contract manufacturer worldwide. Solutions to use renewable energy for one buyer can easily turn into a potential opportunity for other manufacturers.
However, commitments can only go so far. Apple's push for sustainable sourcing also requires a degree of compliance audits along its supply chain. The company's 2017 Supplier Responsibility Progress Report shows 87% of the 705 partners assessed were compliant with Apple's environmental policies. Those found non-compliant typically failed to manage hazardous substances like wastewater, or did not secure the appropriate environmental permit, according to the report.
"Every day, we have the opportunity throughout our supply chain to leave the world better than we found it. It’s a challenge that never ends," Apple writes. "By holding our suppliers accountable to the highest standards and partnering with them to make lasting change, we remain steadfast in our commitment to improve lives and protect the environment."