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Tuesday
Dec222015

Shop Conflict-Free This Holiday Season

Shopping for that perfect gift? No matter what gift you give or how perfect it may be, how can you find out if it was sourced “conflict-free” – or in a way that did not contribute to human rights abuses or conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo?

While this information has proven fairly difficult to gather, there’s good news. Many companies are making great progress in tracing specific metals in their products back to the country and mine of origin. They have responded to consumer pressure, investor expectations, and to disclosure requirements that came into effect in 2014 as part of Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act.

Manufacturers of many popular gift-items are required to report on conflict minerals (tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold) and while some have strong policies and due diligence systems in place, others are lagging behind. You can learn more by downloading our 2015 report, Mining the Disclosures 2015: An Investor Guide to Conflict Minerals Reporting in Year Two

For a quick reference, click here to find how to evaluate the conflict minerals policies, here is an easy to read chart evaluating the world’s most popular tablet and automobile manufacturers.

A strong conflict minerals policy includes a commitment to support conflict-free minerals trade in the DRC, and not simply cut off all trade from the region which contributes to a devastating embargo effect. If your favorite tablet or car brand has a weak rating, use the company’s online feedback form, or social media, to let them know you want them to commit to source conflict-free.

We can all do our part to bring peace to the vulnerable mining communities at the heart of global supply chains this holiday season.

We are grateful for your support in 2015! Please remember RSN in your end-of-the-year charitable giving, and help us protect vulnerable communities at the heart of global supply chains. Visit www.sourcingnetwork.org/donate today!

Looking for a meaningful last minute gift for the Holidays? Check out The Peace Exchange and give a gift that supports women artisans in the Congo!

By: Andrew Arriaga, Conflict Minerals Research Manager @a_rriaga