Responsible Supply Chain Management: Canadian Firm RIM is Stepping Up
Apple has been in the news this week, but for reasons other than its seemingly never-ending successful share price performance. The bigger news was the company's supplier, Foxconn City in Schenzehn, China, and the widespread workers' rights abuses there that have been reported. Consumer activism website Change.org gathered over 200,000 signatures for its "Apple: Protect Workers Making iPhones in Chinese Factories" campaign. Foxconn City, where the assembly of iPhones and iPads takes place, has resulted in a less than ideal corporate image, due to severe human and labour rights violations. According a The Globe and Mail article, Foxconn also assembles "Xbox 360 gaming consoles for Microsoft and other gadgets for companies including Hewlett-Packard and Dell." Apple is clearly not alone.
Among Canadian companies, Research In Motion Limited (RIM) is one of Apple's strongest competitors, and in recent years has joined its industry peers in actively managing its supply chain. RIM does not seem to use the services of Foxconn, but that hardly matters: labour and environmental controversies are not new to the industry. The maker of Blackberry, based in Waterloo, Ontario has been under the Environmental Sustainability Governance (ESG) "lens" due to its position of importance in the Canadian economy, and the global market.
Meirav Even-Har is a Justmeans staff blogger. She reports on Canadian CSR issues. Meirav is an independent sustainability consultant and writer working in Toronto, Canada.