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Apple Intends To Stop Sourcing Materials From Conflict Zones
Apple has announced in its annual supplier responsibility report its intent to cease the sourcing of minerals from smelters and mines in conflict-stricken areas.
Apple recently stopped the flow of its tantalum, a metal used in the production of capacitors, from these zones, and as of the end of January, only sources this material from conflict-free smelters.
By the end of the year, Apple intends for all of its tin, tungsten and gold to also come from similar conflict-free sources. The primary concern in this process is the rich sources of these four minerals in and around the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a notoriously violent and war-stricken region.
In addition to the sourcing issue, Apple has also been training its workers on their rights, legal and contractual, as they work in factories around the world. Apple claims to have trained over 3.8 million workers since 2007. In addition to rights training, they’ve also been attempting to stem over-working in their factories, mandating that factories operate with at most 60 hour work weeks. They’ve been able to hold factories to this 95 percent of the time, a slight improvement over last year.
Source: The Guardian
(Ed. – This could mean higher prices on Apple products in the future, but let’s be honest: What person that buys Apple products cares about the price?)