Intel’s entire supply chain and every product it produces will be free of conflict minerals from this year.
The technology multinational set itself the goal two years ago after it eradicated from its processors any tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold that directly or indirectly finances or benefits armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and adjoining countries.
“We will achieve this goal,” CEO Bryan Krzanich said at the Consumer Electronics Show 2016 in Las Vegas. “Every product, every processor, every modem, every device, every system we ship, everything we sell will be conflict free.”
From the second quarter of 2016, Intel will display on its products a symbol showing that it is free of conflict minerals. “This accomplishment supports the people who are on the ground in the DRC to improve their human experience and their quality of life,” Krzanich added.
Intel’s conflict mineral sourcing policy stipulates that it must exercise due diligence with its suppliers in line with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, and provide any information to confirm the minerals in the supply chain are conflict free.
The company must make publicly available reports on its progress and collaborate with suppliers and others to develop industry-wide solutions designed to eliminate DRC conflict minerals.
Suppliers are expected to have in place policies and due diligence measures that will enable Intel to “reasonably assure that products and components supplied to us containing conflict minerals are DRC conflict free”, according to the policy.
In addition, suppliers must comply with the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) Code of Conduct and “conduct their business in alignment with Intel’s supply chain responsibility expectations”.
Research conducted by Intel in December found that there is a need for greater awareness of conflict minerals – one third of 500 18 to 34-year-old Americans have heard of them, and 53% have heard of responsible sourcing.