Ethical trade also known as ethical sourcing refers to the assumption of responsibility by a given company for the human rights and labor practices in its supply chain. It aims to craft and actualize a code of conduct to uphold labor standards at all production stages of an organization or in simple terms, to promote ethical consumerism.
Apple Inc which is one of the largest electronic companies in the world has managed to come up with one of the best ethical trading initiatives. Its ethical trading initiative is modeled using the Electronic Industry Code of Conduct. In addition, it draws a lot of its elements from internationally recognized trading standards such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), International Labor Organization Standards (ILO), and the Ethical Trading Initiative amongst others.
The company is commited to ensuring that the working conditions in its chain of supply are very safe. Additionally, Apple has also embarked on an intensive campaign to ensure that all the company’s workers are treated with dignity and respect and that all the manufacturing processes taking place in its factories are environmentally responsible. The company’ suppliers are also obligated to fully comply with the rules, laws and regulations of the regions where there they conduct their operations. Suppliers are outlawed from discriminating workers based on factors such as race, religion, union membership, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status and gender. Child labor, harassment or harsh treatment and involuntary labor are some of the other conducts that the suppliers of Apple are outlawed from engaging in.
With such a well defined ethical trading initiative, it is not surprising to see the enormous growth and success that Apple Inc continues to enjoy every day.
Lawrence, A. T., & Weber, J. (2013). Business and society: Stakeholders, ethics, public policy. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Apple - Supplier Responsibility - Accountability. (n.d.), viewed 1 October 2013, <http://www.apple.com/supplierresponsibility/accountability.html>