In recent years, consumers have become more aware of conflict minerals and their potential use in popular electronic goods as well as many other household items. Happily, many companies are now following in Hosiden Besson‘s footsteps by refusing to use these controversially mined minerals, which the UK government defines as being those that have been mined in places where there is armed conflict and human right abuses, and are sold or traded by armed groups.
In particular, the Democratic Republic of Congo has been subject to civil war and conflict for the past couple of decades. It is extremely rich in minerals such as columbite-tantalite (coltan), cobalt and tungsten, all of which are commonly found in electronic goods. It is imperative, therefore, that any minerals from here and neighbouring countries must be ‘uncontaminated’, ie are not from conflict-afflicted areas and have not contributed to human rights abuses or financed conflict.
Because of the greater regulation and legislation covering conflict-free minerals, the cost of them is necessarily higher, although the bigger issue is finding enough conflict-free minerals to meet the high – and increasing – demand. At Hosiden Besson, we work hard to ensure that we never use conflict minerals in any of our products or processes, nor do any of the suppliers and partners that we work with, irrespective of the higher costs and sourcing issues.
It’s important to us that our business never contributes to conflicts or human rights abuses, which is why we put so much effort into ensuring our supply chain is always conflict mineral-free.