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Published by:
Stanford Business School (2015)
Version:
18 June 2015
Length:
11 pages
Data source:
Field research

Abstract

The term 'conflict minerals' referred to four minerals-tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold-that are mined in countries throughout the world, including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). These minerals, sometimes referred to as the '3TG' minerals, were used in many industries for a variety of purposes. The electronics industry was a significant user of the '3 T’s' and gold. Tungsten, for instance, was used in the screens of cellphones and also created the vibrating alert. Tantalum held the battery charge in a cellphone or tablet, was critical to the exchange of text messages and emails, and was a component of cellphone camera lenses. The conflict minerals issue dated to the early 2000s but public awareness took years to develop, following the efforts of nongovernment organizations such as the Enough Project. Intel began to work on the issue internally in 2008, at the direction of its CEO, and conducted its first conflict minerals supply chain survey in 2009. Intel then pledged to manufacture microprocessors with tantalum sourced from conflict-free supply chains by 2012 and to make the world’s first commercially available microprocessor that is DRC conflict free for all four metals by 2013; it achieved both goals. Intel’s decision to address the conflict minerals problem head-on was one of the movement’s first big successes; the policies Intel implemented to obtain conflict-free minerals went beyond what was required by Dodd-Frank.

Topics

Conflict minerals; Intel; 'DRC-conflict free'; Moral imperative; Nongovermental organizations; Supply chain sustainability; Corporate citisenship; Supply chain management; Dodd Frank

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