Apple’s supplier responsibility report leaves some wanting more
Apple released its 2016 supplier responsibility report this week, a sign the company is taking the numerous supplier abuse accusations it faces seriously. One particular highlight from the report is the increase in the number of supplier audits the company performed in 2015 compared to 2014. Nearly 140 audits across certain parts of its supply chain were conducted for the first time last year. With regard to environmental factors, Apple highlighted that it saved 3.8 billion gallons of freshwater and reduced carbon emissions by over 13,800 metric tons through its energy efficiency program. Furthermore, Apple reported that 3 million workers were trained on their rights and the company expanded its “Supplier Employee Education and Development” program.
Despite the positive results, some argued Apple is still leaving out too many details from its reporting. Greenpeace, for example, said Apple should set a better example when it comes to supplier reporting, claiming this year’s report lacks some important details, namely the problems that remain and how these problems will be addressed. One new goal for Apple, according to Gary Cook, an IT analyst at Greenpeace, should be the increased use of renewable energy sources across its supply chain.
Read more on Apple’s supplier responsibility report here.
More progress made on the drone front
Earlier in March, Flirtey, a Nevada-based last mile logistics start-up, produced yet another “first” when it comes to drone deliveries. As a follow-up to its successful Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved drone delivery of emergency supplies in a rural setting, Flirtey recently completed the first FAA approved drone delivery in a U.S. urban setting. The drone was not manually controlled, rather its flight plan was programmed using GPS. A drone pilot was on hand in case things went awry, but this proved to be unnecessary.
The urban drone delivery spanned across a half mile and included emergency supplies such as water, food and a first-aid kit. The drone hovered over its target destination and successfully lowered the supplies to the selected home with a rope. Flirtey CEO Matt Sweeny sees this successful urban delivery as a big step for the industry as it proved power lines, street lamps and other common urban obstacles can be overcome. Flirtey is currently searching for more companies interested in testing its drone technology.
Read more on the progress of drone deliveries here.
Accelerating innovation in logistics
The Wall Street Journal reported on the launch of an accelerator for supply chain technology startups focused on increasing innovation within the freight industry. The end goal is to attract emerging technology talent to the logistics and supply chain industry and develop on existing ideas such as autonomous automobiles, drones and software programs. This is not the first logistics accelerator to be announced, a point that shows how important technology is becoming to efficient supply chain operations. FedEx, for example, has sponsored a logistics accelerator in Memphis, Tennessee focused on supporting innovation in areas such as robotics, fleet efficiency and e-commerce.
This new accelerator will be based in Chattanooga, Tennessee and is targeting people who are looking to fix problems and make a difference in the world of logistics. The startups that get involved will test their ideas and programs in the Chattanooga area, which is filled with a growing manufacturing industry and several large logistics players such as FedEx and UPS.
Read more on this new logistics accelerator here.
Have a great weekend!