Peace on Earth: Support Conflict-Free Efforts this Holiday Season
As we gather to celebrate our hopes for a prosperous, peaceful 2017, many people in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) remain at the mercy of violent conflict. Far too often, mineral extraction is linked to violence in the DRC and other parts of the world. Yet the power to drive change is in your hands.
Whether you’re exchanging gifts, taking advantage of end of year sales, or reflecting on how you can be a more responsible consumer in 2017, we’ve listed some simple ways you can influence major brands to source responsibly.
1. Support companies that do excellent due diligence. Check out the interactive scores for Mining the Disclosures 2016 to find out which companies scored the highest in identifying human rights abuses in their supply chains, improving mining conditions in the Congo, and reporting on their actions. Some popular Christmas presents from leading companies include:
- Technology that contains Intel processors
- Technology that contains Qualcomm processors
- Philips consumer products, like Norelco razors
- Microsoft devices like the Surface
- Apple devices like the iPhone
- Nokia smartphones
- HP devices like the Spectre x360
2. Let your favorite consumer brands know you care about responsible minerals sourcing. Take a moment to fill out their contact form and let them know you are concerned about the responsible sourcing of the minerals in your products. A few clear voices can help a company understand that this is an important issue for customers.
Some companies and products that expose you, as a consumer, to the risk of indirectly supporting armed groups in conflict zones. Here is how to contact them:
- Wearable technology. Fitbit, a publicly-traded U.S. company that contracts Flextronics to manufacture its products, has failed to report on conflict minerals in 2016. If you’re a customer, let Fitbit know you are concerned via its online form or tweet @fitbit.
- Drones. DJI, maker of some of the most popular drones, markets its products internationally, but fails to address responsible sourcing questions on its website. Let DJI know you are concerned via its email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or tweet @djiglobal.
- Retail. Ross Stores, a popular retailer, received the lowest score out of 202 companies in RSN’s 2016 evaluation. Let Ross know you are concerned via its online form or Facebook page.
3. Learn about the raw materials in the products you buy.Conflict minerals, a general term for tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold from the DRC, are found in virtually every product with electrical components, as well as jewelry. Download the full Mining the Disclosures 2016 report to learn more, and check out RSN’s infographic summarizing the impact of conflict-free efforts.