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Fairphone Achieves Traceable Supply for All Four Conflict Minerals; Your Move, Industry

June 20, 2016

Fairphone Achieves Traceable Supply for All Four Conflict Minerals; Your Move, Industry

Today, Fairphone announced it is adding conflict-free tungsten from Rwanda into its supply chain. With this achievement, Fairphone has successfully managed to transparently source all four of the conflict minerals (tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold).

Fairphone began in 2010 as a campaign to increase awareness for the use of conflict minerals in consumer electronics. Six years later, the social enterprise has released two smartphones and more than 100,000 Fairphone owners have joined the movement, but this cause is more relevant than ever.

Most consumers still lack information about how their products are made, including where the materials come from and how they are sourced. A smartphone, for example, contains about 40 different minerals, which come from every corner of the globe. The starting point of the mineral supply chain – the mining sector – is often fraught with environmental and human rights abuses ranging from pollution and dangerous working conditions to child labor.

A selection of these minerals - namely tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold -have been singled out as especially problematic. In some instances, mining and trading of these so-called ‘conflict minerals’ have contributed to fund rebel groups and thus support conflict and other adverse impacts, including serious human rights abuses. The Dodd-Frank Act, passed in 2010, requires all electronics manufacturers listed on the US stock exchange to report on the use of minerals sourced from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and surrounding countries, and to show they do not finance conflict. Last week, the EU agreed on an outline deal on a law that aims to address the use of conflict minerals in the European Union.

Read more at Sustainable Brands.

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