Analysis

ESIA committed to using responsibly sourced minerals

At the occasion of the 14th Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the European Semiconductor Industry Association (ESIA) is highlighting the industry’s commitments to source its raw materials in an ethical and sustainable manner that safeguards human rights within the global supply chain.

The European semiconductor industry has been a leading participant on the responsible sourcing of minerals. Its ambition, as a downstream purchaser of minerals, is focused on supply chain due diligence processes in order to determine that minerals in the semiconductors that the industry manufactures do not directly or indirectly finance or benefit armed groups. The industry remains committed to use responsibly sourced minerals in its products.

ESIA, alongside the wider semiconductor industry, has been addressing conflict minerals issue over the past decade. Through the World Semiconductor Council (WSC), a ‘Conflict-Free Supply Chain Policy’ was agreed to support the global progress in addressing the sourcing of conflict minerals (tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold, or 3TG) from conflict zones, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and surrounding countries in 2013.

Since 2018, the industry has broadened its policy scope beyond 3TG and DRC to responsible sourcing of minerals from “conflict-affected and high risk areas”. Due diligence activities now look at other minerals such as cobalt.

The industry’s due diligence activities are designed based on the ‘OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas’. Semiconductor companies have played a leading role in the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals and also actively collaborate with the work of the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI).

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