“Conflict minerals” refers to the mineral precursors of the metals tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold (3TG) as defined in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule requiring a conflict minerals disclosure. Revenue from mining these minerals in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and adjoining countries have been widely linked to funding for groups engaged in extreme violence and human rights atrocities.
Any connection between the materials used in HP products and armed violence or human rights abuses is unacceptable. To ensure our products are made responsibly, we have adopted industry-leading policies and monitoring practices and are broadening our vigilance beyond conflict minerals to a wider range of minerals and geographies. Through collaborative efforts, we aim to expand the market for responsibly sourced minerals.
Promoting best practices by smelters is the most direct way to address the risk of conflict minerals entering our supply chain. We expect our suppliers to source 3TG for HP products only from smelters that comply with the Responsible Minerals Initiative’s (RMI) Responsible Minerals Assurance Process (RMAP), which requires a third-party sourcing audit. Presence on the RMI conformant list demonstrates a smelter’s conflict-free status.
Across our complex, global, multi-actor supply chain, we have the most influence over our direct suppliers. However, in the case of trace and precious minerals we recognize that we must work to influence the practices of those much deeper in the supply chain.
While conflict minerals are rarely used in large volumes in any one IT product or by one company, the tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold (3TG) metals produced from them are found in relatively small amounts in virtually all electronic products. However, we are typically four to 10 supply chain stages removed from the smelters that purchase and process the ore into metals. For this reason, it is important for HP to work with peers across the IT industry to collectively engage the entire supply chain in efforts to eradicate minerals that may have directly or indirectly supported armed groups and to promote responsible sourcing of minerals regardless of origin.
However, our relatively small use of these metals decreases our influence, so we need all of industry to demand conflict free 3TG. We require our suppliers to work toward removing from our supply chain the smelters that do not participate in a conflict-free audit program. We promote conflict-free minerals in our supply chain:
- Encouraging smelters that purchase and process mineral ores to undergo third party sourcing audits
- Urging our production suppliers of electronic goods containing 3TG (“3TG suppliers”) to require their smelters to undergo third-party sourcing audits
- Supporting multi-stakeholder collaboration to establish secure, conflict free sources of 3TG ores from the DRC
We will continue to work with our suppliers and across the industry to drive demand for conflict-free sourcing, regardless of whether the minerals originate in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) or elsewhere.