At CES 2016, held earlier this month in Las Vegas, Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich announced that since his company has achieved an important milestone and is now manufacturing and shipping 'conflict-free' microprocessors, the company will  moving beyond microprocessors to achieve the goal to validate Intel's broader product base as ‘conflict-free.’ 

“Every product, every processor, every modem, every device, every system we ship, everything we sell will be conflict free,” said  Krzanich said at CES.

The company’s ‘conflict- free’ microprocessors  was achieved through a rigorous effort to validate the sources of specific metals (tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold) as 'conflict free' used in the company’s microprocessor products. “The importance of this effort has been to ensure that profits from metals that we source for our chips are not funding human rights atrocities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC),” the company said.

Intel’s conflict mineral sourcing policy stipulates that it must exercise due diligence with its suppliers in line with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, and provide any information to confirm the minerals in the supply chain are conflict free.

In addition, suppliers must comply with the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) Code of Conduct and “conduct their business in alignment with Intel’s supply chain responsibility expectations”.

Beginning the second quarter of 2016, Intel will display on its products a symbol showing that it is free of conflict minerals.

Krzanich called on the industry at large to join them and many others “doing good work to tackle this important global human rights challenge.” According to a survey conducted by the company this issue is very important to Millennials.

Some key findings of the survey include:

  • Nearly all Millennials (97%) believe it’s important for a company to act in a way that benefits society. 9 in 10 believe that large companies have the potential to have a positive impact, but less 25% believe large companies are fulfilling that potential today.

 

  • Millennials also hold themselves accountable. 8 in 10 believe consumers have a responsibility to make sure products they buy don’t use resources that harm society or the environment.

 

  • Awareness of conflict minerals is low. Only one third of Millennials have heard of conflict minerals, while over half are aware of responsible sourcing.

 

  • Unclear labeling is holding Millennials back from buying conflict-free, and nearly 8 in 10 said it would be helpful if companies indicated which products did not contain conflict minerals. 
 

Material Handling & Logistics is an IndustryWeek companion site within Penton's Manufacturing & Supply Chain Group.