Enough Is Enough – Apple And Other Tech Companies Aim To Steer Us All Away From ‘Conflict Minerals’

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Let's hope Apple continues to wipe out conflict-materials in all its products.
Let's hope Apple continues to lead the industry to wipe out conflict-materials from all tech products.

The Enough Project released a report today that ranks the top technology companies on how well each one is doing in wiping out the use of “conflict minerals” like tantalum, tin, and tungsten in their products. Apple, HP, Intel, Motorola are at the top of the list, while Nintendo is at the bottom, along with HTC, Sharp, Nikon, and Canon.

The minerals in question, mined in areas of armed conflict and human rights abuses, are used in many technology products around the globe, and The Enough Project – a non-profit arm of the Center for American Progress – tracks these in its effort to combat crimes against humanity.

The companies at the top of the list, including Apple, are working on wiping out the use of these minerals in their consumer products, while the ones at the bottom aren’t even trying, says the report.

“Nintendo has made no known effort to trace or audit its supply chain,”s aid the “Taking conflict out of consumer gadgets” report. “Sharp, HTC, Nikon and Canon are taking initial steps to join industry efforts, but their progress remains far behind industry leaders.”

The scores that The Enough Project track are based on company efforts to actually trace the source of the key metals and minerals use in tech products and whether or not audits of supply chains are being. In addition, the scores reflect companies’ efforts to include environmental rankings or support for specific legislation on these conflict materials.

According to the report, Apple and the other companies at the top of the list “have moved forward to develop solutions despite delays in the legislative rule-making process by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC – an excuse that many other companies have used to explain their lack of significant action.”

The higher ranking companies, including Apple, have taken steps like developing a smelter auditing program, an aid project for lagging smelters, and aid projects to help develop a clean minerals trade, according to the report.

The Enough Project reports that SanDisk, Philips, Sony, Panasonic, RIM and AMD have improved their efforts “by surveying their suppliers, piloting due diligence, and joining the smelter audit program.”

Source: Reuters
Image: Wikipedia