Video – Progress on Conflict Minerals

Jul 30, 2013

Five years ago, when Motorola Solutions and other tech companies started to work proactively to address the issue of so called “conflict minerals” – tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold – some said solutions like this were unrealistic or unlikely to have meaningful impacts.  The argument went something like this—“How can companies reach into their supply chains and have an impact in DRC when they don’t even know which minerals are in their components?”  Five years later, Motorola Solutions’ Corporate VP and Chief Procurement Officer Rich Valin is speaking about the positive impact efforts like Solutions for Hope have produced to encourage peace and development in the DRC.

RESOLVE hosts several other efforts working on this issue, including the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade, the Conflict-Free Tin Initiative, and the Conflict Free Smelter Early Adopters Fund. Click here to learn more about RESOLVE’s early supply chain mapping research and resulting report.

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Innovation and Leadership

Apr 9, 2012

It takes innovation and leadership to re-incentivize a supply chain to eliminate the potential for conflict minerals.  It also takes perseverance and trial and error—and the hard work of design, and testing, and re-design.  The CFS Early-Adopters Fund, a brain child of Intel, proves the case.  It complements the work already done to design a protocol and assurance system for conflict-free smelters and refiners.  And both HP and the GE Foundation know a good idea when they see it—and should be commended for putting creativity and resources into the final design.  What’s next?  What other fixes, programs, and tools will be needed to reach the joint goals of 1) conflict-free supply chains for tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold, and 2) support to in region sourcing so local miners in DRC can participate?  Watch this space for news and a bit of editorializing.  But for now kudos to these companies and the stakeholders, such as the Enough Project, who have expressed support and are poised to continue to innovate and lead—and test and persevere.

Steve D’Esposito

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New RESOLVE Solutions Network Program to Support-Conflict Free Supply Chain for Target Minerals

Apr 3, 2012

RESOLVE is pleased to announce the launch of a new pilot project—the Conflict-Free Smelter (CFS) Early Adopters Fund.  This Fund, initiated by Intel, HP and GE, is designed to support responsible minerals sourcing by encouraging smelters and refineries (smelters) to become early-adopters of the CFS Program, which seeks to end supply chain support for the sale of illicit minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the surrounding region.

The CFS Early-Adopters Fund offers each smelter company an extra incentive for early participation by helping to offset transition and start-up costs if they successfully comply with the CFS Program protocol. The idea for this Fund was hatched by companies who are committed to doing what it takes in their supply chains to promote transparency, and RESOLVE’s Solutions Networkplatform is an ideal home for managing and testing this pilot program. This is a great example of leading companies taking action to promote transparency and responsible sourcing in their supply chains. Intel, HP, and the GE Foundation are sponsoring this new, independent fund, and other leading organizations have been invited to support the Fund as well.

Because so much of this design is new, we do not expect it to be perfect at the outset. As with so much of the innovative work taking place to respond to conflict minerals, we are committed to working with stakeholders to continue testing and making improvements. Approximately a year into the pilot program we will invite key stakeholders to review the program results and help determine how to further strengthen efforts to support capacity building in the supply chain for conflict-free minerals.

RESOLVE’s President, Stephen D’Esposito explains “Early leadership from electronics companies helped catalyze development of the Conflict-Free Smelter Program, and once again we see leaders like Intel, HP and the GE Foundation taking action to make a difference in the world supply chain. RESOLVE is committed to work with stakeholders to test programs like this and inform, refine and strengthen policy and voluntary efforts on such issues.”

The Fund is part of a growing fabric of programs designed to build capacity to respond to the challenges of conflict minerals. The EICC and GeSI, these same sponsoring companies and others also support the Public Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals, a joint initiative between governments, companies, and civil society to support supply chain solutions to conflict minerals challenges in the DRC and the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa. To find out more about this program and RESOLVE’s involvement, click here.

For more information on the CFS Early-Adopters Fund, click here. And, for more information on RESOLVE’s other voluntary governance projects, click here.

- Beth Weaver

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