An environmental group called Friends of Earth (Netherlands) is running a campaign against Microsoft, Asus, HTC and Huawei. The group claims that these tech giants are stripping off forests and marine wealth of Bangka-Belitung islands in Indonesia for tin and other raw materials which are used in the manufacturing process of mobile phones, computers, laptops, etc.
“Big brands such as Apple, Philips and LG openly support projects to produce tin in a better way. It is unacceptable that other brands still refuse to follow this lead and take responsibility. They have been made aware Bangka-Belitung islands are being destroyed and miners are dying every week. All brands use tin from Bangka-Belitung since a third of global tin production comes from these Indonesian islands,” said FoE campaigner Evert Hassink. “We ask people to support our petition. In the Netherlands we will be collecting signatures on the streets and at festivals. We will take direct action against Microsoft.”
Brian Tobey, Corporate Vice President, Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Information Services, Microsoft is in touch with this group regarding this campaign. He said “On 2 June we will publish a Conflict Minerals report which will disclose the number of tin smelters and refineries in our upstream supply chain, including those in Indonesia. The report will include maps showing the locations of all confirmed mines and smelters or refiners identified in our raw materials supply chain.”
“Microsoft continuously innovates and believes that transparency and collaboration can help identify opportunities for advancing our policy. We have shared our list of manufacturing suppliers since 2013. Our Corporate Citizenship Report describes our supply chain practices including our efforts to support a conflict minerals-free electronic supply chain. We will share additional details on our conflict minerals program in future Securities and Exchange Commission disclosures. We are working to further improve the relevance and quality of the information provided about the content and source of materials used in our products,” Tobey explained in a post regarding the policy on responsible materials sourcing.