Jul 16, 2020

Apple: Top 10 Sustainable Supply Chains

Jack Grimshaw
2 min
Apple: Top 10 Sustainable Supply Chains
After featuring Apple in our Top 10 Sustainable Supply Chains in the July magazine, we’re taking a much closer look at the company and its initiatives...

The transition to sustainable manufacturing materials has become a key feature of Apple’s recent Macbook and iPhone models, representing the reflection of evolving consumer interests and desires that has driven its iterative approach to design and its position as one of the world’s dominant tech innovators. 

Apple’s move to renewably-sourced energy at its sites around the world is now bleeding into its relationships with its partners across the supply chain as it assists them with their own shift to sustainable electricity. 

The firm has also been investing heavily in sustainable interests across its global network, with its 2019 Progress Report highlighting its financial support for 485MW’s worth of wind projects across China, slashing emissions for its suppliers in the market. 

Apple places its people, the staff and customers, at the heart of everything it does. With a strong supplier code of conduct, the company holds both itself and its suppliers to the highest standards, protecting not only the planet and the environment, but every single member at every point of the supply chain. 

From the very beginning of a product’s life, when materials are sourced, right down to its very end, where products and their components are recycled, Apple ensures that it works with its suppliers and partners across the globe to ensure that all of its sustainability and efficiency targets are being met successfully and consistently.

In 2019, Apple worked closely with its partners to carry out 1,142 supplier assessments in 49 countries across the world, demonstrating its commitment to properly enforcing all of its policies. These assessments put every point of its expansive supply chain network under scrutiny to ensure that all points of its supplier code of conduct are being adhered to.

Apple places labour, human rights, and environmental protection at the very centre of its code of conduct for suppliers. By empowering the members of its supply chain, Apple is meeting the core values of its code of conduct and having a positive impact on the environment, leaving it in a healthier state than it found it. By collaborating closely with partners and suppliers, it is having this positive impact much sooner.

Year on year, Apple works on creating stronger relationships with its suppliers to create better savings in energy and water, whilst also eliminating waste and improving the use of natural resources. 

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Jun 21, 2021

Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain

2 min
Jewellery retailer Pandora teamed with IBM to streamline supply chains as sales of hand-finished jewellery doubled across ecommerce platforms

Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery. 

The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales. 

A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.

Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs. 

Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption. 

"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added. 


Pandora’s pivot to digital 

The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand. 

“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”

Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”. 

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