Press release / March 31, 2016

Global Witness response to Apple’s new Conflict Minerals Report

“Apple’s new Conflict Minerals Report  is a significant step forward for due diligence reporting along tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold (3TG) supply chains from the Great Lakes region in Central and East Africa” said Sophia Pickles, Senior Campaigner at Global Witness. 

“By providing specific and granular detail about its supply chain and the steps they are taking to address red flags or risks that they have found, Apple have moved their due diligence reporting beyond simply being the ‘tick-box’ exercise it is for many firms,” Pickles added. “This now gives investors, consumers and shareholders a much clearer insight into what is really happening along their supply chain and how Apple is beginning to respond to the challenges and red flags that it finds as part of this ongoing due diligence process. By carrying out this detailed due diligence Apple will be able to improve the management of its supply chain and the quality of its due diligence reporting.

“Apple also recognizes for the first time that while industry due diligence schemes can be a helpful foundation for due diligence, on their own they are not enough as a means of checking and responsibly managing their mineral supply chain.” 

/ ENDS

Contacts

Sophia Pickles, Senior Campaigner

[email protected]

Notes to editor:

Apple’s latest Conflict Minerals Report covering 2015 was published on 30th March 2016 and can be found here: http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/320193/000119312516523320/0001193125-16-523320-index.htm

The International Guidance established by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has long made clear that while industry schemes can help companies discharge their due diligence, firms have an individual responsibility to conduct their own supply chain checks.

U.S. listed companies that determine their products contain 3TG minerals originating from DRC or one of its nine neighboring countries are required to report under Section 1502 of the U.S. Dodd Frank Act to give a clear and complete picture to a firm’s investors and consumers of the steps it is taking to ensure the minerals in its products do not contribute to conflict or human rights abuses  in countries covered by the law.

Global Witness calls on all companies to undertake supply chain due diligence along their mineral supply chains and provide detailed and substantive information about supply chain risks they have identified and the steps they have taken to address these risks when using supply chains linked to any conflict-affected and high risk area as they file their reports ahead of the May 31 deadline. For more information: https://www.globalwitness.org/en/campaigns/conflict-minerals/

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