Apple said that it is now auditing 100% of its suppliers for the use of conflict minerals linked to violent militia groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
As reported by Emily Chasan of Bloomberg, the company said all of its 242 smelters and refiners of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold are now subject to third-party audits.
Apple uses the minerals in its mobile phone processors, motherboards and screen displays.
That figure is up from about 88% at the end of 2014 and 44% in 2013, according to an annual filing by the company.
“We could have very easily chosen a path of re-routing our supply and declared ourselves conflict-free long ago, but that would have done nothing to help the people on the ground,” Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams said. “We chose to engage with as many smelters as possible because the only way to have an impact here is to reach critical mass.”
More than 1,300 companies file annual conflict minerals reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Chasin reports, but few have been able to fully audit their supply chains and determine if their products are free of the minerals.
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