Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) defines “conflict free” as having elemental minerals (Sn, Ta, W, and Au) in their microprocessors from validated conflict free smelters. And although Intel’s microprocessors may already be conflict free, after mapping out over 90% of their supply chain(s) they still need to verify all the links in the chain to make sure they are 100% conflict free.
As an integrated part of Intel’s commitment to Corporate Responsibility, they have incorporated the conflict free goal in their recent filing(s) with the SEC in their 10-K (and have published an associated video). Intel’s hope is that their corporate commitment to having a conflict free supply chain will motivate and inspire other companies to commit to similar goals and collectively change the nature of regions in conflict.
Focusing on human rights issues associated with areas in conflict, and prioritizing the acquisition of materials from legitimate sources, is expected to help such areas move to a more economically viable and sustainable mode of production and supply. In particular, issues in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have Intel concerned about the impact of raw material purchases and implications on Social Responsibility goals. Specifically Intel is focused on three main aspects:
1. Accountability and ownership in supply chain through smelter review and validation audits
2. Partnering with key industry associations (EICC and GeSI)
3. Working with governments and NGO’s to support in-region sourcing
One of the stated activities that has been put in place is the collaborative working with AVX to source “conflict free” tantalum from DRC. And they have developed tantalum, tin tungsten, and gold smelter audit protocols as co-chair of the EICC working group. As a result, Intel has identified six smelters that are compliant with the program protocol of the Conflict-Free Smelter assessment.