Tech behemouth Apple is known for a multitude of things: like your iPhone, your MacBook, Airpods and the list goes on. However, we do not often think about the manufacturing process except perhaps that it is Made in China, but assembled in California. It is important to consider the minerals used in the production of these devices, and how blockchain is the solution to a more ethical supply chain.
Apple released a note sometime last year that is supports implementing industry-wide standards for the Blockchain Guidelines of the Responsible Business Alliance’s Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI). Apples said: “In 2018, Apple chaired the board of the Responsible Business Alliance, served on the Steering Committee of the RMI, continued its participation in the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals, and served on the Governance Committee of the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade. Apple also contributed to several RMI working groups, including, but not limited to, the working groups for tin, gold, and other minerals; the smelter engagement team; the Blockchain team; and the minerals reporting template team.”
Apple has spoken out many times about how they are “deeply committed” to upholding human rights and works closely with their suppliers to ensure it. Especially since Apple has said that it monitors and assess risks in their own supply chain in the areas of Social, Environmental and Human Rights. This means that they take the well-being of those in their supply chain very seriously, as well as taking the time to ensure that they are recycling old pieces to make the new ones. “There are a lot of valuable materials inside old devices that are perfect for making new products. The challenge is that recovering them is extraordinarily complex and hard to do efficiently. And we want to return an equivalent amount of materials to the market to be used by us or others. Our ambition is that one day we will extract nothing from the earth.”
It is great to see companies maintain responsibility for their services, even down to their supply chain and their effects it has on the people and the earth around us.