Intel takes affirmative acton on conflict mineralsFebruary 2014
Intel, the world’s largest electronic chip maker, is now excluding all minerals mined in conflict zones from its products.
Much of the gold, tin, tungsten and tantalum used in electronic devices is mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and neighbouring sub-Saharan countries where production and trading are controlled by armed groups and human rights are abused.
Intel’s decision comes ahead of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which becomes effective in May and compels companies to confirm in their filings to the US Securities and Exchange Commission that their supply chains are free of conflict minerals.
The new policy was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month by Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich. “We felt an obligation to implement changes in our supply chain to ensure that our business and our products were not inadvertently funding human atrocities,” said Krzanich.
The decision is in line with Intel’s membership of the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative run by the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition, which encourages environmental and ethical responsibility.
Mark Morley, director of industry marketing for manufacturing at the GXS global supply chain consultancy, said: “Intel’s pledge … to make chips free of conflict minerals serves as an inspiration to the industry.
“An effective community management platform will be vital to ensure that companies can adhere to government legislation like the Dodd-Frank law.”
At the same time Intel has decided to replace the McAfee anti-virus brand name with Intel Security, thus severing the connection with the software founder John McAfee, who is having legal problems and has admitted extensive drug use.
McAfee’s response: “I am now everlastingly grateful to Intel for freeing me from this terrible association with the worst software on the planet.”
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