In August 2018, Ethical Consumer sent Apple a questionnaire. No response was received. Ethical Consumer searched the company's website for information on its environmental reporting. The latest Environmental Progress Report was found, dated 2018.

The report included information on climate change, waste, resources, energy, toxics and water. The company was thus felt to have a reasonable understanding of its environmental impacts.

The report only contained one quantified future target:

"Apple and our suppliers will generate and procure more than 4 gigawatts of new clean power worldwide by 2020"

There was third party verification of environmental data by Bureau Veritas (BV) and of product related carbon footprint data by Fraunhofer.

Whilst the information in the report covered Apple's main environmental impacts the lack of two future dated, quantified targets meant that Apple received Ethical Consumer's worst rating in this category.


Environmental progress report 2018 (14 August 2018)

A company in Suqian, China, called Catcher, making iPhone and iPad parts was found to have a number of serious health and safety, environmental, and human rights violations, as was revealed in a new investigative report. The investigation was conducted in August 2014 and released on 4th September 2014 by the non-profit organizations China Labor Watch (CLW) and Green America.
CLW investigated the Catcher Sujian factory in April 2013 and found many of the same violations. At that time, CLW reported its findings to Apple privately, after which Apple committed to reforming some of the problems. The new report showed that in the 16 months, Apple had not made progress with this supplier to improve conditions for its workers. In spite of Apple’s supplier code of conduct and commitments to prevent these violations, more than a year later, they persist. These findings were in violation of Chinese law and Apple’s Supplier Code of Conduct.
The factory, which employed 20,000, was not one of Apple’s 18 Final Assembly Plants in China, and therefore was not one of the facilities where Apple had recently committed to a policy to ban the use of benzene and n-hexane in manufacturing.
Violations found at Catcher Suqian included the following:
•Significant amounts of aluminum-magnesium alloy shreddings on the floor and dust particles in the air (this dust is both flammable and combustible). Lack of proper ventilation poses a health and fire safety risk
•Inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for handling toxic materials, such as metal cutting fluids. Skin is exposed directly to these toxins and there are no ventilator masks
•Locked safety exits. There was no means of rapid egress if there is a fire or explosion.
•Workers had not participated in fire drills in the past year
•A lack of safety training for workers
• Dumping of industrial fluids and waste into groundwater and nearby rivers
•Many student workers (16-18 years old) are employed in the same positions as adults, 10+ hour days
•Excessive hours for all workers, including student interns
•Forced overtime. Workers were not allowed to turn down requests they work overtime. An estimated 6 hours of unpaid overtime per worker per month (Roughly $290,000 in owed wages for all employees)
•Hiring discrimination based on age and presence of tattoos
•A grievance process that retaliates against workers for raising valid workplace issues
Green America and CLW called on Apple to do what was necessary to ensure that workers making Apple products were treated according to law and Apple’s own social responsibility commitments.
As a result, Apple lost half a mark under Pollution and Toxics, and a whole mark under Workers Rights.


iPhone and iPad Supplier Exploits and Endangers Safety of 20,000 Workers (4 September 2014)