Conflict minerals group report puts Apple well ahead of other companies like Google, Microsoft and Intel in their efforts to develop metals supply chains outside conflict zones like Congo .
A study released Thursday by the Enough Project looked at 20 of the world’s largest companies by market capitalization. The mineral supply chains examined include tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold.
Apple has become the “undisputed leader” with 114 points out of 120 possible. After the top five, including HP, Microsoft, Intel and Google, the other electronics companies are suffering a steep drop in their rankings, with Panasonic scoring 42.5 – and the charts anchor point being Toshiba at 9.
Tin is a semiconductor and a common structural mineral. Tantalum is used in capacitors and resistors, and used in other alloys to ensure strength and corrosion resistance.
Gold is an excellent conductor and is effectively corrosion free. Tungsten has a wide range of uses in construction materials, can be used for wear resistant coatings and in transmitters.
Jewelry companies like Signet and Tiffany were also scrutinized with the same scale, with Signet holding a 66.5 point lead. Tiffany scored 60 points. Other jewelry companies scored between 0 and 20 on the scale.
The Enough project defines “conflict-free minerals” as minerals that do not directly or indirectly fund or benefit armed groups, including Congo State military units as well as other predatory regional governments. Because these rankings focus on Congo-related activities, companies were assigned criteria for sourcing conflict-free minerals if they were able to demonstrate that the minerals in their products were not funding violence. army in Congo or in the African Great Lakes region.
The group recommends that consumers contact companies that use the materials either to praise their efforts or to exclaim in dismay at the poor outcome.