HP, Intel, Sony to Source Conflict-Free Minerals

HP, Intel, Sony are among the 21 electronics companies, industry groups and NGOs that have joined a U.S. government-led effort to create a reputable supply chain for conflict-free minerals in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Assembly line. Image - Jurvetson

The Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade formally launches next month in Washington, D.C., but the initiative was introduced on a global stage last week when Maria Otero, the U.S. under secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs of the Secretary of State’s Department, visited the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In answer to the growing scrutiny and criticism of over use of tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold sourced from the strife-torn country, the Security Exchange Commission next yeår will require companies of all types to know and report whether they use minerals in their products.

Critics have pointed out the disclosure alone won’t stop the brutal mineral trade and rampant civil abuses that fuel the combat by warlords. And without support for a clean supply chain, it’s feared that the mineral trade in the region could be abandoned by the business world entirely, leaving an impoverished population with even fewer resources for sustenance. Link to full article…

Source – GreenBiz.com By Leslie Guevarra, October 10, 2011