HP releases smelter supplier list

by MM&D staff

PALO ALTO, California—In a move designed to prove the company is dealing with ethical suppliers, Hewlett-Packard Co has released a list of worldwide smelters that contribute to its supply chain.

The 195 smelters have not only been named, but HP says they have been independently reviewed under Electronic Industry Citizenship Coaltion (EICC) guidelines. The EICC is an industry body that promotes socially, environmentally and economically responsible practices in the electronics industry supply chain. In particular, HP’s suppliers have been vetted under the Conflict-Free Smelter (CFS) program. HP is an EICC member.

The EICC describes CFS as “a voluntary program in which an independent third party evaluates a smelter’s procurement activities and determines if the smelter demonstrated that all the materials they processed originated from conflict-free sources.

“The CFS assessments cover smelters processing tin, tungsten, tantalum, and refiners processing gold. The assessments are conducted globally for any smelter who is processing the targeted minerals and wants to be identified as a conflict-free smelter.”

In publishing the list, HP put a special emphasis on its efforts to obtain conflict-free minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

“For more than a decade, the mining of minerals used to produce tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold (3TG) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been linked to the funding of armed groups waging a civil war in the country. These metals are widely used in many industries and are commonly found in electronic products,” explained HP in a statement.

“As part of its commitment to work toward solutions in the DRC and neighboring countries, HP has been active with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), industry organizations and government entities, including the Enough Project, the US State Department and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.”

Tony Prophet, HP’s senior vice-president of supply chain operations in the printers and personal systems group, said the company is “committed to collaborating across our supply chain as well as with NGOs and industry organizations to drive responsible sourcing within the Democratic Republic of the Congo and achieve a conflict-free supply chain.”

In addition to the smelter list, HP also made available the names and addresses of its final assembly suppliers.

The smelter list—which includes three Canadian organizations (the Royal Canadian Mint, Xstrata Canada Corp and Johnson Matthey Limited) be found here. The assembly suppliers list is here.