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Apple’s Bengaluru supplier achieves zero waste in record time
Apple supplier Wistron’s facility in Bengaluru has achieved zero waste to landfill certification in a little over a year, much faster than its assembly units in China, says Apple’s latest progress report on supplier responsibility. The other assembly units took two years to secure the certification. Wistron’s unit in the industrial hub of Peenya has been assembling the low-cost iPhone SE since last year. It’s the only iPhone assembling unit outside China and Brazil.
In 2015, Apple launched a zero waste programme that provides onsite support to help suppliers learn how to recycle and reuse materials, and divert waste from landfills. To achieve a zero waste to landfill certification through certification agency Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a factory must divert 100% of its waste from landfills, with a maximum of 10% sent to a waste-to-energy facility. When the programme began, suppliers with the most significant waste impact were selected – final assembly facilities in China. In two years, 100% of its final assembly locations in China had attained zero waste certifications, the report said.
In early 2017, Apple began work with Wistron in Bengaluru and a key part of the programme was to provide waste management training to its employees, to educate them on avoiding sending any waste to the landfills. The programme included assistance in selecting recyclable protective materials and finding service providers to reclaim materials at the end of life. The Apple supplier responsibility report conducted 756 assessments in 30 countries, covering 95% of its total spend. About 26% were first-time assessments. In 2017, efforts to empower women through health education also began at several of its supplier facilities in China and India. “Our goal is to enable women in factories to take charge of their personal health and well-being by becoming well-informed of risks specific to women,” the report said.
The programme provides vital information and access to services that women need to maintain their health, including critical topics such as self-examination for early cancer detection, nutrition, personal care, and maternal health. "Extended collaboration among Apple teams, factory management, major medical institutions including the Department of Community Health, St. John's National Academy of Health Sciences in Bangalore, welfare officers, trainers, and the women themselves is essential to achieve the programme's goals. All training is conducted in the participants' local language and tailored to the needs of factory employees," the report said.