When it comes to making a purchase decision, there are many factors taken into consideration, like price, design, features, and so on. Then there are some who take it even further by making their decision based on where the product is made, whether it is made by workers who are working in good conditions (e.g. not sweat shop workers or mistreated workers), and also if there are conflict minerals being used. Well for would-be Apple customers, you might be pleased to learn that Apple has confirmed that their suppliers do not use unethically sourced tantalum.
This is according to the Cupertino company’s recently published 2014 Supplier Responsibility Report where Apple was quoted as saying, “In January 2014, we confirmed that all active, identified tantalum smelters in Apple’s supply chain were validated as conflict-free by third-party auditors, and we will continue to require all suppliers to use only verified tantalum sources. We know supply chains fluctuate, and we’ll maintain ongoing monitoring of our suppliers’ smelters.” For those unfamiliar, tantalum is a metal used in electronic components which can also be sourced from war-torn regions in Africa.
Tantalum, along with other minerals such as gold and tungsten have been something of a debate within the industry as these are materials which can also be found in war-torn regions of the world. In fact some have blamed tech companies for sourcing from these regions, which in turn funds the conflict taking place in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Thankfully Apple will not be one of them, at least that’s what they claim, as they promise to continue support conflict-free supply lines.