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Apple outlines corporate accountability in new Ethics and Compliance webpage

Apple this week launched an Ethics and Compliance webpage to detail internal efforts that allow it to conduct business ethically and in compliance with local laws.

The new mini site offers a look into the company's compliance policies.

"We believe that how we conduct ourselves is as critical to Apple's success as making the best products in the world. Our Business Conduct and Compliance policies are foundational to how we do business and how we put our values into practice every day," Apple says.

Apple provides an overview of its Business Conduct Policy, which employees must certify that they have read when they join the company, and again each year. Failure to abide by the policies can result in termination. Employees are also required to complete annual Business Conduct training.

In 2020, Apple employees collectively completed over 555,000 individual courses designed to educate on application of company policies. Managers receive additional training, while contractors are coached on ethical business behaviors, secrecy, privacy, and important laws.

Apple's policies on business conduct, anti-corruption, export and sanctions, labor and human rights and environmental protection in the supply chain, antitrust and competition, channel member code of conduct, human rights, and public policy advocacy are available for viewing through the site. A separate section elaborates on expectations and requirements for business partners.

Beyond guidelines, the tech giant fields internal apparatuses to ensure compliance with policy. The Business Conduct and Global Compliance team for example, focuses on Business Conduct, Political Compliance, Export and Sanctions Compliance, Health Compliance, Antitrust Compliance, and Anti-Corruption Compliance. Internal and external audits of the programs are conducted, while a Chief Compliance Officer provides regular updates to the Audit and Finance Committee of the Board of Directors, Apple says.

Finally, Apple maintains compliance reporting tools for both employees and external parties. The company says it will not retaliate against individuals who lodge reports or participate in the investigation of any complaint.