Intel Commits to Conflict-Free Chips
When Intel CEO Brian Krzanich took the stage to give the opening keynote speech at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on January 6th, attendees assumed they would only be hearing about new gadgets and computing technology. However, Krzanich surprised the crowd by announcing that starting this year, all Intel micro-processors will be produced without conflict minerals.
Responsible Sourcing Network (RSN) has been working closely with Intel and other industry leaders over the past three years to push for strong conflict mineral legislation and for supply chains to be accountable to human rights atrocities buried in the raw materials of their products. We applaud their initiative in creating the Conflict-Free Smelter Initiative.
Intel’s leadership plus coordination by RSN, and involvement by Enough, Global Witness, and dozens of electronics companies and NGOs has started to improve the 15 year-old conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). However, there is more to do.
One of the militia groups, the M23, surrendered its weapons last November. But there are at least 20 more groups causing havoc. By setting up legitimate conflict-free certification schemes in-country and prohibiting smuggled conflict minerals, the revenues fueling the violent campaigns are being eliminated. Now is the time for the toy, automotive, and aerospace industries to step up and participate in the multi-stakeholder initiatives.