CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteThanks to Intel’s Supply Chain Director, Carolyn Duran, Intel was able to release the world’s very first microprocessors built completely from conflict-free minerals in 2014. Now she has set her sights higher, hoping to declare the entire company’s product line conflict-free by 2016.

Cellphones, computers, and many of the other electronics used throughout the world would not work without the processors made by companies like Intel. The minerals required to build these electronics,gold and the 3T minerals (tin, tantalum, and tungsten), are often traced back to countries in conflict, like the Democratic Republic of Congo. Unfortunately the profits from the illicit trade in minerals are regularly used to finance ongoing conflicts and lead to the deaths of innocent people. Duran and Intel understood that this was a problem, and decided they no longer wanted to “contribute to an economy of suffering.”

To address this issue, Duran and her team visited 91 smelters in 21 countries and encouraged them to adopt best practices that would help reduce the trading of conflict minerals. Pressuring these smelters to “develop and implement an auditing system to track minerals so corporate buyers can source responsibly” resulted in almost half of the world’s 3T smelters passing conflict-free audits. While Duran is proud of the progress she and Intel have made, she expressed that “this is not a problem that Intel or any one company can solve. We’re proud to be a leader in this area, but we’re not in it to be the leader; we’re in it to get more people engaged.”

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SOURCE: Fast Company