Apple submitted to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US Securities and Exchange Commission) a new document on the mineral supply used in the production of their gadgets, in which the company details its efforts to obtain the so-called conflict minerals (tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, or 3TG) in the most responsible way possible.
In that sense, Apple (like other American companies) needs to comply with U.S. legislation on the supply of these products – Apple, specifically, wants to cut the use of conflict minerals from its supply chain, since mining companies responsible for these activities are usually behind armed conflicts in several countries in Africa.
At the beginning of last year, the Cupertino giant had 323 contracts with smelters and refineries, however 36 of them were cut from the Apple business for providing incorrect reports about their activities. As of the end of 2019, another 18 miners have been removed from Apple’s list of suppliers for failing to meet predefined standards, including participation in audits, violating the company’s code of conduct.
Finally, two other refineries also ended their contracts with Apple for unspecified reasons, causing the number of active suppliers to remain at 267.
Members of Apple’s supply chain must follow the Supplier Code of Conduct it’s the Vendor Responsibility Standard for Responsible Supply of Materials, which mandate that the company “engage with miners and refineries to assess and identify a wide range of risks in addition to conflicts, including social, environmental and human rights risks”.
In addition, Apple works closely with Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in order to assist in the development of mining industry standards for responsible sourcing, promoting workplace inspections through various independent programs.