February 16, 2014
Apple has been praised by Greenpeace following the company's publication of its 2014 Supplier Responsibility Report, which confirmed that its suppliers use only ethically sourced tantalum. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the non-governmental environmental organization has expressed approval of Apple's conscious effort to reduce the use of conflict minerals in its products:
"Apple's increased transparency about its suppliers is becoming a hallmark of Tim Cook's leadership at the company," said Greenpeace Energy Campaigner Tom Dowdall in a statement. "Apple has flexed its muscles in the past to push suppliers to remove hazardous substances from products and provide more renewable energy for data centers, and it is proving the same model can work to reduce the use of conflict minerals."Conflict minerals are minerals mined in areas of armed conflict, mostly in certain regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where warlords make a business out of selling such minerals. In its report, Apple admits that it has had less success in securing "conflict-free" gold, tin, and tungsten, mainly because most of the smelters of these minerals have not agreed to an audit. But the Mac and iOS device maker has confirmed that its suppliers use only verified tantalum sources. Greenpeace encourages other tech companies to follow Apple's example:
"Samsung and other consumer electronics companies should follow Apple's example and map its suppliers, so the industry can exert its collective influence to build devices that are better for people and the planet," Dowdall said.Previously, Greenpeace commended Apple for hiring Lisa Jackson as its top environmental adviser in May last year. Jackson served as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from 2009 to 2013.