independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Apple publicises mineral suppliers with links to conflict zones

Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple has publicised a list of its suppliers who may be sourcing minerals for components from conflict zones.

Apple said it was dedicated to ensuring ensure safe and fair working conditions for its workers and suppliers

Tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold are regularly used in electronics, including Apple products, and some sources are found within the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and adjoining countries.

Extraction of these minerals may finance or benefit armed groups that are associated with human rights violations, said Apple in its annual Supplier Responsibility Report.

In January the company confirmed all 59 active, identified tantalum smelters in Apple’s supply chain were validated as conflict-free by third-party auditors. An additional 23 smelters have given their consent to be audited by the Conflict-Free Smelter Program.

Within the report it also named 104 suppliers who had not been verified with compliance with ethical guidelines.

Mark Viso, President of Pact, an iTSCi partner, is quoted within the report as saying:“The easy path is to disengage and run away from the complex minerals sourcing issues in the African Great Lakes region. The more important, courageous thing to do is to stay, work with the cooperative Rwandan and DRC governments, and directly contribute to meaningful change and a better world through industry leadership initiatives. We are pleased that Apple supports the latter, more remarkable path.”

Apple said its work on ethical sourcing extended beyond Africa to Bangka and Indonesia, where the tin used within their products is sourced from.

 

Telegraph.co.uk

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