Time to start another week! A week that is bringing us even closer to our kiddos! A week that will hopefully pass quickly and productively so we can hurry this thing up! Today I want to update you on a subject that I wrote about many, many months ago, back when we had just started this process. And that subject is conflict minerals. If you remember from my post back in December of 2011, conflict minerals are minerals such as gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten that are found in the Democratic Republic of the [Home Country], where workers are exploited and profits are collected by the few and the rich and are used to fuel one of the world’s deadliest conflicts. And these minerals are used in the electronics that we buy and use every single day.
Over the past few years, organizations such as the Enough Project have worked hard to bring this issue to light and strides have been made to prevent these “blood minerals” from making their way to our electronics. In 2010, President Obama signed the “Conflict Minerals Law” which now requires manufacturing companies to disclose if they use certain minerals known to come from conflict zones, and describe their process for checking their supply chain. Efforts are also currently being made to implement a certification system for companies to use in order to identify where their minerals and materials come from in the hopes that companies will avoid using conflict minerals and, therefore, decrease the financial support given to rebel groups that continue to perpetuate the conflict.
Last Thursday, the Enough Project released their second report since 2010 on the progress that electronics companies have made in reducing the amount of conflict minerals used. The results are encouraging, as it showed that the minerals used in our gadgets are, in fact, becoming less bloody. Some of the companies that stood out in their efforts in making this happen are Intel, HP, Dell, Microsoft and Apple with Intel ranking highest with a score of 60. Other companies, such as IBM, Sony, LG, and Samsung received low scores, all below 30. And, at the very bottom of the pack was Nintendo with a score of 0. This means that Nintendo, according to the Enough Project, took absolutely no steps to insure that their electronic minerals do not support armed groups in Africa.You can read the article below and also click on the company rankings list to see each company evaluated and their individual scores.
Overall, the progress made by the companies participating and the new legislation has succeeded in decreasing the money funneled to these armed groups by 65%. That is a wonderful thing. But there is still a long way to go. I encourage you to read these reports and use your money to support the companies who are trying to make a difference. And TELL them why you support them. Encourage them to continue their efforts so that more progress can be made and more lives can be saved. And also use your money to NOT support those companies who are unwilling to take the steps needed to eliminate conflict minerals from our electronics. And DEFINITELY tell them why you choose not to support them. They need to know that we demand conflict free items. Especially as Christmas is coming up, make your money count. Make your voice heard. Do your best to make a difference.
Since 1998, an estimated 5.4 million people have died in the [Home Country] from war-related causes. Nothing we buy here is worth making that number any higher. For reasons I will not post on this blog, this issue is so very, very close to my heart. I hate that a year ago I didn’t even know that it existed. I hate that it had to become personal for me before I cared enough to do something. Be better than me! Do something now! Make a difference!