Nokia publishes policy on African conflict minerals
Nokia says it will not buy mineral products that benefit armed groups or those engaging in human rights abuses. Guest blogger Curt Hopkins asks how they will implement their policy.
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"We prohibit human rights abuses associated with the extraction, transport or trade of minerals. We also prohibit any direct or indirect support to non-state armed groups or security forces that illegally control or tax mine sites, transport routes, trade points, or any upstream actors in the supply chain. Similarly, Nokia has a no tolerance policy with respect to corruption, money-laundering and bribery. We require the parties in our supply chain to agree to follow the same principles."Skip to next paragraph
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The document outlines some of the company's process for oversight of suppliers, including the EICC-GeSI Conflict Minerals Reporting Template. It would be interesting to know how the suppliers will be reviewed, how often and what will happen to errant suppliers who use conflict minerals. We have asked Mr. Delaney exactly that and will update should we receive a response.
[Update: Nokia's Anna Bask contacted blogger Curt Hopkins on Thursday with this response:
"Nokia follows up the effectiveness of corrective actions and conducts on-site assessments as necessary. However, as stated in the article, the reality is that problems often lie upstream and not with our first tier suppliers. So as well as demanding proper due diligence from our direct suppliers to ensure that the material flows are conflict-free, we ask them to set policies and supplier requirements of their own and pass those on into the supply chain."
"Continued non-conformance and refusal to address issues of concern will lead to termination of business relationship."]
Although conflict minerals could theoretically crop up anywhere, practically, East Africa is ground zero. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is certainly the worst-affected by conflict mineral mining. There, the Congolese National Army vie against three different rebel groups to extract and refine the valuable ores.
Here is how the various minerals are used in our electronics, including mobile phones, computers and music players.
- Tantalum: stores electricity in cell phones
- Tungsten: creates vibrations in phones
- Tin: circuit boards
- Gold: used to coat wiring
Curt Hopkins is a production editor and international reporter for the technology blog site, ReadWriteWeb.com, where this blog originally appeared on Feb. 3.
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