Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was praised by Greenpeace, the world’s largest independent direct-action environmental organization, for improving its supply chain transparency and reducing the use of conflict materials in its products.

Apple

In a statement, Tom Downdall, energy campaigner for Greenpeace said the increased transparency regarding the suppliers of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is becoming a “hallmark” in the leadership of its CEO Tim Cook.

Downdall noted that the iPhone and iPad maker previously “flexed its muscles to push its suppliers to remove hazardous substances from products and provide more renewable energy for data centers.” According to him, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is proving that the same strategy works in reducing the used of conflict materials.

He called on consumer electronics companies such as Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005935) to “follow the examples of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), and map its suppliers.” He is hoping that the industry will be able to “exert its collective influence to build devices that are better for the people and the planet.”

Supplier responsibility report

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) recently released its latest supplier responsibility report indicating that its hardware factories did not use tantalum, a metal generally used in electronics that comes from conflict areas such as the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to the tech giant, third parties confirmed that its suppliers sourced their tantalum smelters from conflict-free countries.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) also reported that its suppliers are 95% compliant its policy regarding the standard maximum workweek of 60 hours.

Workweeks exceeding 60 hours have been a persistent problem for the electronics industry, and reducing excessive overtime remains a priority for Apple. “We limit workweeks to 60 hours, except in unusual circumstances. And all overtime must be absolutely voluntary,” according to the tech giant.

Previous commendations/criticisms

Last year, Greenpeace also applauded Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) for hiring former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Lisa Jackson as senior vice president for environmental initiative. The organizations’ senior IT analyst, Gary Cook said the tech giant demonstrated a “bold move” in hiring Jackson given her record as proven advocate in the fight against toxic waste that causes global warming.

In 2012, Greenpeace upgraded its rating for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) when the company announced that it will be using 100% solar energy to power its iCloud service by doubling the amount of solar power attached to its North Carolina facility. At the time, the company also announced its plan to make its data centers completely coal free by 2013. The organization said the tech giant is on the right track with its plans, but opined that the announcement has some big holes because it did not reveal how it will achieve its plans.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) does not always receive kudos from Greenpeace. The organization is always vocal in criticizing the tech giant. Prior to the decision of the company to improve the source of its energy in its data center in North Carolina, Greenpeace criticized the company and alleged that Apple sourced most of the electricity from coal burning power plant. The tech giant denied the allegation.