Earlier this year we reported on efforts to urge electronics companies from using conflict materials mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Enough Project has released a report ranking companies' responses. Where do Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony rank?
The Democratic Republic of Congo is a country torn with strife. Since 1998 the Second Congo War has raged, with military groups funding their efforts through the exploitation of the country's natural mineral deposits. Once it was blood diamonds, but international scrutiny caused that trade to dwindle. Battling forces have since turned to minerals like tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold; items in high demand in today's electronics. The sale of these minerals is so important to the ongoing conflict that it's been dubbed The PlayStation War, as Crecente noted in his column back in June.
The Enough Project is spearheading a campaign to get major electronics manufacturers to examine their supply chain and end reliance on these conflict materials. Now they've released a comprehensive report detailed which companies are making changes for the better and which aren't making any changes at all.
In June Microsoft told Kotaku that a conflict mineral free pipeline was a priority, and the company certainly seems to be sticking to its word, ranking among the top tier in terms of action taken.
Sony Ericsson ranks among companies that have voiced their support of industry0wide measures to stem the use of conflict materials yet have not shown any active movement in that direction.
According to the report, which can be read in full at the Enough Project website, Nintendo is one of several companies that refuse to acknowledge or deal with the problem. The company had previously responded to an inquiry from Raise Hope for Congo, telling the organization that Nintendo does not purchase raw materials directly, and that it requires suppliers "to comply with its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Procurement Guidelines, which stipulate suppliers comply with applicable laws, have respect for human rights and conduct their business in an appropriate and fair manner."