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Apple Steps Up on Conflict Minerals

Author: Enough Project, Center for American Progress (USA), Published on: 31 March 2016

Tech giant’s firm but fair measures with suppliers and investigations in eastern Congo are key steps in the right direction to fight the deadly trade. Enough Project highlights where Apple could take next steps... 

Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “Apple's new supplier report is a model for how companies should be addressing conflict minerals. Apple's tough love with its suppliers is critical to solving the problem of deadly conflict minerals -- it offered assistance to suppliers but then took the difficult step of cutting out those who were unwilling to undergo an audit. Firm but fair follow-through by tech and other companies with their suppliers is a key step that's needed to cut off global markets for conflict minerals.”

Brad Brooks-Rubin, Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “We appreciate Apple's commitment to issuing an honest and thoughtful reflection on the progress it has made as a company and that conflict-free initiatives have made to date overall.  We agree strongly with Apple's assessment that it will "take the contributions of many different stakeholders to effect lasting change in the minerals sector of the Region" and encourage others to work with Apple and other leaders to do just that.”

Apple’s detailed report highlighted that 100% of the smelters in the company’s supply chain were participating in third-party independent audits on conflict minerals issues. That is an industry first...

Apple offered more detail in its Conflict Minerals Report...than the vast majority of [other companies]... Intel, Signet Jewelers, and Ford have also provided transparent, detailed reports... The openness of this reporting and due diligence...are welcome and should be emulated by other companies... Going forward, Apple should also set up direct sourcing initiatives in Congo to purchase conflict-free gold and other minerals, and support livelihood projects for artisanal mining communities.

Link to Apple’s report: http://www.apple.com/supplier-responsibility/progress-report

Link to Apple’s SEC filing: http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/320193/000119312516523320/d168894dex101.htm

[also refers to Kaloti (Al Kaloti Jewelers Factory)]

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