Apple - An analysis through the lens of ESG
Apple, the largest tech company in the world, a global industry leader with a
market cap of over $2 trillion is navigating through a tough environment right now. With an inequality of trust building between the general population and large corporate powerhouses (according to the Edelman Trust Barometer), many would assume that Apple would not be doing their utmost to ensure that they practice ESG principles. Considering the company has sold over 2 billion iPhones since its launch in 2007, people would imagine that such production would result in pollution of the environment, a disregard for public or consumer wellbeing in favour of increasing shareholder value and the avoidance of government regulation. These people are, as it turns out, wrong.
With CEO Tim Cook at its helm, Apple is dedicating itself to leaving the world in
a better state than it found it, putting the following values at the heart of its
mission: Accessibility, Education, Environment, Inclusion & Diversity, Privacy
and Supplier Responsibility. After scouring through Apple’s ESG Index and
multiple analytics sites, it is safe to say that Apple is following through on its
According to Sustainalytics, Apple ranks at a ‘Low Risk’ ESG rating, scoring in
the top 10% of all companies in the Sustainalytics global universe, a grouping
of over 13,000 companies worldwide. This rank is further backed up by other
sites such as Yahoo Finance, who rank Apple with a ‘Low ESG Risk score’ as
they come within the top 11% of companies for ESG ratings. CSRHUB, a site
dedicated to ranking companies’ performance along with ESG metrics, ranks Apple
as a high performer in the 88th percentile of the 18,000+ companies it surveys.
As can be deduced from this data, it appears the industry is in agreement that
Apple strives to comply with ESG standards, aiming to better the planet and
those living on it.
Apple itself ensures that it meets its ESG goals through conducting its own
assessment of operations, the results of which can be found in Apple’s ESG
Index and its Sustainability and Environmental Progress Reports. Some key
facts that can be gleaned from these reports are listed below.
1. Apple is the World’s largest corporate issuer of green bonds, the
valuation of which stands at $4.7 billion.
2. Apple has reduced its carbon footprint by 35% since 2015 and aims to
be carbon neutral by 2030.
3. Nearly 20 million supplier employees have been trained in their
workplace rights since 2008, with over 52,000 interviewed about their
4. 53% increase YoY in the number of suppliers committed to zero waste.
5. 58% reduction in the number of plastics used in packaging in the last 4 years