Hardware Manufacturers Are Trying To Rid Themselves Of Conflict Minerals

Hardware Manufacturers Are Trying To Rid Themselves Of Conflict Minerals

Do your gaming devices use, tantalum, tin, tungsten, or gold? These minerals are often sourced from conflict zones, and GamesIndustry.biz report has outlined how many suppliers are guilty of this, as well as how many we just don’t know about.

There’s a fantastic report over at GamesIndustry.biz investigating how compliant our hardware manufacturers are with Conflict Free Sourcing Initiative standards. The information shows that things are improving, but there’s still a long way to go — many companies simply don’t know where their supplies are coming from, and some didn’t even bother to reply to the manufacturers’ survey requests.

Apple has been shown to terminate contracts over conflict minerals, and is pressuring other companies to move, whereas Disney seems to be among the worst offenders, due to a relatively late start in the identification process:

For starters, I’m not sure how anyone could minimize the amount of Disney merchandise out there with a straight face. Keep in mind it’s not just Mickey; Disney owns The Avengers, Pixar, Star Wars, pretty much our society’s collective childhood at this point. It may only add up to 10 percent of the company’s business, but when you’re pulling in $48.8 billion a year, that still comes out to nearly $5 billion

Many manufacturers have to simply throw their hands in the air and say “I don’t know” with regards to some of their suppliers. Microsoft, for example, only got a response from 82% of its 357 suppliers during 2014.

The long and short of it is that no one is completely clean, and engaging in computing these days at all makes it pretty hard to be 100% ethical. But judging these figures against those from the last few years, it certainly looks like there’s momentum in the right direction.

Read the full report here.

Image via Shutterstock


  • MS has been all over stuff like this since they were once found in 2007(?) with a child worker on their laser mouse production line in china and the backlash was massive. Go and read their statement on nokia’s manufacturing control.

    Apple get busted constantly using companies that use labor laws, slavery and illegal mining regulations as toilet paper and get to look offended and get away with it. If you want to see what they are really like go watch the docco that was on 4 corners about them.

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