Hewlett-Packard's POV on Conflict-Free Tin, Tungsten & Gold Supply Chains

by on

MetalMiner interviewed Jay Celorie, Global Program Manager at Hewlett-Packard and active participant in the EICC® (Electronic Industry Citizen Coalition) and GeSI® (Global e-Sustainability Initiative), regarding MetalMiner’s white paper, “The Definitive Guide to Conflict Minerals Compliance for Manufacturers.” Jay shared some of his thoughts on some of the key issues around conflict minerals, our paper and various approaches.

This portion of the interview continues from Part One, available here.

On Tin, Tungsten and Gold Supply Chains

“The electronics industry has been successful in recruiting many of the tantalum smelters to join the CFS Program. This was accomplished in part for many reasons.

The electronics industry uses more than 20% of the global production, and the smelters are only two to four tiers away – allowing closer engagement – and we started engaging them prior to Dodd-Frank in 2009.  However, for tin, tungsten and gold, we have seen slower adoption of the CFS Program.

This may be a result of a much smaller relative use by our industry (probably less than 5% each of global consumption), the relative position in our supply chain (typically much deeper than four tiers), and because we prioritized our engagement based on the metals with the highest electronics industry usage. As a more fragmented buying base, we have had less overall influence as a company or even a collection of companies.

We are encouraged by the leadership that the jewelry industry has also brought in the last year towards gold refiners. With the alignment of LBMA and RJC audits with the CFS Program, we expect the number of gold refiners that join the CFS list to increase significantly within the year.”

Mobilizing Tin and Tungsten Supply Chains

“We do see a tipping point and believe that eventually more and more smelters will join the CFS Program. However, right now, it might seem like there is little momentum. It would be helpful to utilize the MetalMiner network to encourage large buyers of tungsten and tin to request their smelters to participate in the CFS Program.

If we persuade the big customers purchasing from these tungsten and tin smelters – perhaps the steel mills and the OEMs that use tungsten and tin alloys – to encourage smelters to join the CFS program, that would enable those metals industries to demonstrate responsible sourcing.”

Lawsuit Challenging SEC Conflict Minerals Rule

“We believe working towards responsible sourcing is a matter of corporate social responsibility [CSR].

The issue of conflict minerals has been addressed at the international level by the United Nations as well as the OECD. Furthermore, we expect to see other jurisdictions contemplate legislation (e.g. the European Union).

Therefore, the EICC and GeSI strongly encourage all companies to act now by using the reporting Template to identify the smelters in their supply chains and then encouraging those smelters to get on the CFS list of compliant smelters and refiners.”

Make sure you read Part One.

Comment (1)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *