Apple for the first time on Friday disclosed a full list of its major suppliers as well as a detailed report on factory inspections after facing an array of criticism.
In recent years the consumer electronics giant has been in the spotlight over its suppliers’ factories working conditions and the company’s transparency about it.
The Fair Labor Association confirmed Apple’s participation on Friday, according to a released statement.
Apple has consented to let independent monitors into the factories of suppliers like Foxxconn Technology Group.
In recent years, at least 12 workers have committed suicide at Foxconn factories, and three workers died and more than 70 were hurt in blasts at two iPad facilities, one owned by Foxconn, according to Bloomberg.
Apple’s 2012 “Supplier Responsibility Progress Report” released on Friday said that Apple Inc. has led 229 audits throughout its supply chain in 2011, which was up 90 percent from 127 in 2010.
In the report, Apple said that it addressed the issue of underage labor and the number of cases of it in the company has gone “down significantly”, but the company noted that there were still six active cases taking place in its component suppliers.
The company said that it has educated more than a million employees in its supply chain about their rights, and Apple said in its report that its suppliers stuck to its maximum 60-hour work week about 38 percent of the time.
Apple also said it found “some violations” of its compliance code for environmental standards while conducting audits in 14 facilities which resulted in the company treating air emission systems in 58 different facilities.
On Friday Apple became the first technology company to join the FLA, which will act as an independent auditor in Apple’s supply chain.
"We're extremely proud to be the first technology company admitted to the FLA," said Jeff Williams, Apple's senior vice president of operations in a statement. "Last year we performed more than 200 audits at our supplier's facilities around the world. With the benefit of the FLA's experience and expertise, we will continue to drive improvements for workers and provide even greater transparency into our supply chain."
Apple also released a two-page list of suppliers the company uses to make its products, and Apple noted that the companies listed were responsible for "97 percent of Apple's procurement expenditures for materials, manufacturing, and assembly of Apple's products worldwide".
Apple’s updated report comes in the middle of more controversy at Taiwan’s Foxconn, Apple’s biggest manufacturing supplier. Foxconn made news in January when workers threatened to commit mass-suicide in response to poor working conditions a Foxconn employee told New York Times reporters.
Foxconn said that most of its protesting workers had agreed to return to work after negotiations, and more than 45 workers had resigned according to a statement released Thursday.
Click here to visit Apple’s “Supplier Responsibility” website.