Apple Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Apple corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs and initiatives are led by Lisa Jackson, Vice President of Environmental Initiatives, reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook. It has to be noted that “Steve Jobs wasn’t known for philanthropy. Some wondered if he made anonymous donations to charity, some criticized him for his lack of public giving, while others defended him”[1]. However, with Tim Cook assuming Apple leadership in 2011, the focus on CSR aspect of the business was increased to a considerable extent. Tim Cook is a member of Paulson Institute’s CEO Council for Sustainable Urbanization, working with other CEOs of top Chinese and Western companies to advance sustainability in China.

Apple Inc. Supporting Local Communities 

  • ‘Global Volunteer Program’ was launched in 2011 to encourage employees to volunteer in local communities. Since its launch more than USD 78 million was donated to charities and non-profits around the world.[2]
  • The program has been revised in March 2015 to grant employees the right to choose the projects in their local communities they would like to contribute.


Apple Inc. Educating and Empowering Workers

  • Apple education and development program is offered free of charge by 18 factories and more than 280,000 workers took various courses in 2016
  • Under the leadership of Denise Young Smith, as Apple’s vice president for HR, Apple has expanded its employee benefits programs to a considerable extent. For example, “expectant mothers can take up to four weeks before a delivery and up to 14 weeks after a birth, while fathers and other non-birth parents are eligible for up to six weeks of parental leave”[3]


Labour and Human Rights at Apple Inc.

  • Apple enforces The Supplier Code of Conduct that is claimed to be the toughest in the electronics industry
  • Company has achieved an average 95per cent compliance among suppliers to maximum 60-hour workweek
  • Apple has investigated cases of abuses of foreign workers and the company has required suppliers to reimburse affected “foreign contract workers USD3.9 million in excessive fees paid to labour brokers, bringing our total reimbursements since 2008 to USD16.9 million”[4]


Employee Health and Safety at Apple Inc.

  • The company has launched Apple Supplier EHS Academy, an 18-month program that aims to improve employee health and safety in the industry throughout the globe. 240 suppliers and 270,000 workers have participated in this program.
  • Research has been conducted in Apple’s ergonomics department on about 75 jobs within supply chain to identify ergonomic risks. The research has resulted in improved standards for managing workstation design changes.


Apple Inc. and Gender Equality and Minorities

  • Apple employees are 32 percent female, 9 percent black and 12 percent Hispanic. Out of a global workforce of 125,000, 37 percent of new hires in the last 12 months were women. Out of a U.S. workforce of 80,000, 27 percent of hires came from underrepresented minority groups in the last year.[5]
  • The company reached equal pay to employees in 2016
  • Tim Cook is the only openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company has been praised as a strong champion of workforce diversity[6]

Energy Consumption by Apple Inc. 

  • Apple is often praised for its environmental records that include decrease of total power consumption of Apple products by 57per cent , introduction of Mac mini as the world’s most energy-efficient desktop computer and exceeding ENERGY STAR guidelines
  • Apple emerges as the only company that has been awarded with a Clean Energy Index of 100per cent , according to Greenpeace’s Clicking Clean Report.
  • Apple Inc is sourcing or generating enough renewable energy to cover 93 per cent of the electricity used at its facilities worldwide
  • The company is now 100 per cent renewable energy in 23 countries
  • Each Apple data centre around the world runs on 100 per cent renewable energy


Water Consumption by Apple Inc.

  • The company launched Clean Water Program in 2013 and in 2015, 73 supplier facilities joined the program to increase the efficiency of their water usage
  • Cooling systems in company’s date centres can reuse water up to 35 times
  • In 2015 the company converted about 120,000 square feet of previously grass lawns to drought-tolerant landscape, translating to estimated water savings of up to 6 million gallons per year
  • Despite the initiatives above, water usage by Apple data centres, retail and corporate facilities have been consistently increasing during the last three years, as illustrated in Figure 1 below.

Apple Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Figure 1 Water usage by Apple Inc.[7]

Waste Reduction and Recycling by Apple Inc.

  • Apple offers recycling programs in 99 percent of the countries it operates and the company has diverted more than 508 million pounds of electronic waste from landfills since 2008.
  • In 2016 the company introduced Liam, a line of robots that can disassemble an iPhone every 11 seconds and sort its high-quality components so they can be recycled,
  • In 2015, more than 99 per cent of Apple product packaging was done from recycled paper or papers sourced from sustainably managed forests.
  • Apple is working with more than 160 recycling companies around the world and in 2015 it collected nearly 90 million pounds of e-waste through its recycling programs.


Carbon Emissions by Apple Inc.

  • Apple has caused 34.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions during the financial year of 2014. Although the company is working towards reducing carbon intensity associated with manufacturing and using its products, overall increase of the numbers of products manufactured and sold has decreased the level of Apple’s carbon efficiency.
  • In 2014, employees took more than 110,312 trips on shared bikes, a 55 percent increase over 2013
  • The company offers employees more than 550 electric vehicle charging ports for free, an increase of 67 percent compared to the previous year to encourage the usage of electric vehicles
  • As it is illustrated in Figure 2 below, the company’s CO2 emissions per product has been consistently decreasing during the last four years to reach 114.2 kg in 2015

Apple Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Figure 2 Changes in Apple CO2 emissions per product (kg)[8]

Apple Inc. and Sustainable Sourcing 

  • In 2015 more than 60 per cent of paper used in packaging was prepared from recycled wood fiber
  • The company partnered with The Conservation Fund to protect 36,000 acres of sustainable forest in North Carolina and Maine and more than 13,000 metric tons of wood was harvested responsibly
  • Apple aims to contribute to to transition up to 1 million acres of forest, across five southern provinces, into responsible management by 2020

Apple Inc. Report contains a full analysis of Apple corporate social responsibility including Apple CSR issues. The report illustrates the application of the major analytical strategic frameworks in business studies such as SWOT, PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces, Value Chain analysis and McKinsey 7S Model on Apple. Moreover, the report contains analyses of Apple leadership, business strategy, organizational structure and organizational culture. The report also comprises discussions of Apple marketing strategy and addresses issues of corporate social responsibility.


[1] Apple Support for Charity (2015) Available at:

[2] Gurman, M. (2015) “Apple launching volunteer program for employees to help local communities” Available at:

[3] Hodgkins, K. (2014) “Apple Expands Employee Benefit Programs in Health and Wellness, Education, and Philanthropy” MacRumors, Available at:

[4] Apple Supplier Responsibility 2014 Progress Report

[5] Worstall, T. (2016) “Apple Reaches Pay Equality – Even If Every Company Did We’d Still Have Gender And Minority Pay Gaps” Forbes, Available at:

[6] Bort, J. (2015) “Apple’s HR chief: Working with Tim Cook ‘actually helps you to be a better human being’” Business Insider, Available at:

[7] Source: Environmental Responsibility Report (2016) Apple Inc.

[8] Source: Environmental Responsibility Report (2016) Apple Inc.