New reporting requirements cause some tech companies to struggle because they have to show whether their products contain “conflict minerals.” These minerals from mining areas in African regions are blamed for the rising violence among the people. But Intel excused themselves from this issue.
Silicon Valley Chip Giants reported that its microprocessors are now conflict free. They strengthen their claim with a long report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Among others, Intel is the first one to submit an intensive audited report before the June 2 deadline.
Ernst & Young, a company that provides assurance including financial audit, tax, consulting and advisory, audited Intel’s financial reports. It carefully examined the company’s procedure for its supply chain. The firm didn’t drop any statement whether Intel’s chips are conflict-free.
Dodd-Frank Act 2010 includes the reporting requirements of products that use tin, gold, tantalum and tungsten. Violence came after the increasing demand of minerals from big tech-companies. It even resulted to gunpoint and violent militia groups all over the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Brian Krzanich, Intel’s chief executive a year ago aimed to have a conflict-free status in order to protect the company’s name— a highly visible corporate priority. In order to drive awareness about the problem, the company even filmed a video directed by Paul Freedman, who is a prominent documentary maker.
One of the challenges for the company is to know where to get the materials for manufacturing chips or other products. It actually involve complex relationships between mines, middlemen and smelters which make the whole thing too difficult. According to Intel, they have visited almost 85 smelters and refiners in 21 countries since 2009.
Intel said that they can prove that its microprocessors and other related products like chip sets, and other parts of the system are conflict free. But those supplies they got from other factories were labeled as “undeterminable” as far as conflict minerals are concerned.
On Thursday, Krzanich said, “From ultra-mobile and wearable devices to cloud computing and security, the technology universe is changing dramatically.” Also, “During this unprecedented industry transformation, we remain as committed to leadership in corporate responsibility as we do to innovation in our products.”