Report: Apple ranks low in supply chain transparency, safetyApple outsources much of its supply chain to manufacturing companies in Asia, including companies in Hong Kong and China. The technology giant's supply chain, though, has recently come under fire for being neither transparent nor green.

According to a report issued by anti-pollution activists in China, Apple is more secretive about its supply chain than almost every other American company operating in the country. Though Apple is known in the industry for the secrecy it wraps around its newest product offerings, the mystery of its supply chain is more a matter of covering up than preventing leaks, the report stated.

"Behind their stylish image, Apple products have a side many do not know about – pollution and poison. This side is hidden deep within the company's secretive supply chain," the report states. There have been workplace poisonings, heavy metal contamination incidents and suicides at Chinese factories responsible for assembling the companies electronics.

The report ranked Apple at the bottom of 29 technology companies whose supply chains were examined, citing the company's hesitance to comment on supplier issues and other disruptions. For example, 62 workers fell ill last May at a factory after inhaling noxious n-hexane fumes, a chemical the factory switched to because it dried more quickly than alcohol and increased efficiency. Apple never gave an explanation as to why the chemical was used - especially because it can cause nerve damage for up to two years.

Nonetheless, there is room for improvement at Apple, Ma Jun of the Institute of Public and Envrionmental Affairs told The Guardian: "Far from being the best on planet, it is bottom among 29 IT brands. Apple should be a leader. If it can move on this, it can change the whole industry." 
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