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 has 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 Corporate Social Responsibility Programs and Initiatives

Apple Supporting Local Communities

  • ‘Global Volunteer Program’ was launched in 2011 to encourage employees to volunteer in local communities. 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.
  • In 2018 more than 250.000 hours  volunteered and more than USD125 million donated to organizations around the world within the scope of ‘Global Volunteer Program’[2]
  • The company also responds to natural disasters. These include raising USD 1 million to help the victims of Hurricane Maria and USD 2 million to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma in Puerto Rico.[3]
  • In China, Apple powers all of its offices and retail stores through solar panels mounted high off the ground, so the grass can grow and local yaks can eat it.[4]


Apple Educating and Empowering Workers

  • Apple provided educational programs to more than 3.6 million supplier employees since 2008.[5]
  • 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.
  • 68% of people attending App Development and Swift course in 2018 had no coding experience. After the completion of the course they were able to build an app. 


Labour and Human Rights at Apple

  • Company has achieved an average 95per cent compliance among suppliers to maximum 60-hour workweek
  • Apple enforces The Supplier Code of Conduct that is claimed to be the toughest in the electronics industry. Apple educated more than 17,3 million employees of its suppliers on their rights since 2007.[6]
  • In 2018, Apple removed five mineral suppliers from is supply chain for failing to pass or not being willing to participate in human rights audits[7]


Employee Health and Safety at Apple

  • 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.
  • The multinational technology company has launched a group of health clinics called AC Wellness for its employees and their families.


Apple and Gender Equality and Minorities

  • Tim Cook is the only openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company and he has been praised as a strong champion of workforce diversity
  • The company reached equal pay to employees in 2016
  • 36% of all employees under 30, 29% of leaders and 39% of leaders under 30 are women at Apple
  • 50% of new hires in 2018 were from historically underrepresented groups in tech such as women, Black, Hispanic, Native American, and Native Hawaiian & Other Pacific Islander.


Energy Consumption by Apple

  • Apple is often praised for its environmental records that include decrease of total power consumption of Apple products by 57%, 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 100%, according to Greenpeace’s Clicking Clean Report.
  • The company is currently powers 100% of its operations globally with 10% renewable energy
  • The multinational technology company has committed to bring 4 gigawatts of renewable power online by 2020
  • Supplier Clean Energy program has motivated 23 manufacturers to power all of their Apple operations with 100% renewable energy. The company is aiming to achieve 4 gigawatts of new clean energy online in its supply chain by 2020.


Water Consumption by Apple

  • In 2017, Apple used about 1 billion gallons of water directly, a 59 percent increase compared to 2016
  • The company launched Clean Water Program in 2013 and since more than 13,6 billion gallons of water have been saved by suppliers
  • Cooling systems in company’s date centres can reuse water up to 35 times
  • Despite the initiatives above, water usage by Apple data centres, retail and corporate facilities have been consistently increasing over the last four years, as illustrated in Figure 1 below.

Apple Corporate Social Responsibility Apple CSR

Figure 1. Water usage by Apple Inc (in millions of gallons).[8]

  • Apple Park, a campus in Cupertino uses 75% recycled non-potable water. Apple campus in Austin, Texas, irrigates its drought-tolerant plants using a 600,000-gallon rainwater cistern.


Waste Reduction and Recycling by Apple

  • 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 2017, U.S. product packaging used on average 29% less plastic compared to the previous year
  • In 2017, the multinational technology company’s 22 supplier facilities were certified as Zero Waste, including all iPhone final assembly sites


Carbon Emissions by Apple

  • Apple reduced its overall carbon footprint from 29.5 million metric tons in 2016 to 27.5 million metric tons in 2017. As it is illustrated in Figure 2 below, the company’s renewable energy program made a massive contribution to reduce the volume of CO2 emissions to a significant extent.

Apple Corporate Social Responsibility Apple CSR

Figure 2 Total CO2 emissions by Apple[9]

  • 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


Apple and Sustainable Sourcing

  • All the fibers Apple uses in product packaging are 100% responsible sourced
  • 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 transition up to 1 million acres of forest, across five southern provinces, into responsible management by 2020


Apple Supplier Responsibility

  • In 2017 Apple trained more than 3 million supplier employees on their rights, including local labour laws, and Apple’s Supplier Code of Conduct
  • The multinational technology company has launched a health program that aims to empower female employees to improve their health awareness. The program aims to train 1 million supplier female employees by 2020.
  • In 2017, the company returned US USD1.9M in excessive recruitment fees to 1558 people affected by bonded labour by suppliers

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, Ansoff Matrix 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 its ecosystem.


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

[2] Out of a culture of giving, a world of difference (2019) Apple Newsroom, Available at:

[3] Apple community responds to natural disasters (2018) Apple Newsroom, Available at:   

[4] Environmental Responsibility Report (2018) Apple Inc.

[5] Supplier Responsibility (2019) Apple Inc. Available at:

[6] Supplier Responsibility (2019) Apple Inc. Available at:

[7] Zhou, M. (2019) “Apple ditches five mineral suppliers over failure to pass human rights audits” CNET, Available at:

[8] Source: Environmental Responsibility Report (2018) Apple Inc.

[9] Source: Environmental Responsibility Report (2018) Apple Inc.