Intel’s statement on conflict minerals issue

There has been on-going communication over the last several days about Intel’s position on legislation regarding conflict minerals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. For well over a year, we have been engaged in both conversations with NGOs and our own industry focused on creating workable solutions. We have shared with our suppliers our current position on the issue. As always we are open to having constructive meetings with people that have an interest. I have posted below our public statement on the issue.

Intel shares the deep concern of many Americans about conflict minerals. Activities related to obtaining minerals that fuel conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are unacceptable. We are actively engaged in efforts to identify a solution through our supply chain and together with our industry. We appreciate the recognition of the leadership actions we have taken on this issue to date. We also support the objective of US legislation to address this problem. We want to be certain that the legislation will be implementable, achieve real change in the mineral supply chains and not result in an unintended ban of legitimate trade from the DRC. We are working with industry partners, organizations, and Congressional offices to address this. In the meantime, we are not waiting for legislation to continue to drive action in our own supply chain and with our industry.

We have offered to schedule a meeting to discuss this issue and will ensure that the appropriate people from Intel participate in such a meeting.

43 Responses to Intel’s statement on conflict minerals issue

  1. Ann Richmond says:

    Though I am truly thrilled at your statement, which I have been directed to and read many times, I am troubled by the recent discussion that Intel is involved in efforts to weaken the Conflict Minerals Bill. I am also troubled by fact that efforts are being made to weaken it, while the estimated cost to tech companies is a mere penny per product to implement as written. (I emailed intel with that estimate, and asked to be corrected if I was wrong. As yet, I have not been corrected.) I don’t know of any consumer who would mind that cost being passed on to them, particularly if it could help to ending the violence in the Congo, even if it included added administrative costs also being passed on. I cannot fathom why this would be considered too burdensome. I have read your statement many times, and I am thrilled at your support of the bill, but feel strongly that if the bill is gutted, it will have no impact. Your support for it then would serve to make you look good, but would not in actuality help the root of the problem. I am a big fan of Intel. I am a big fan of your statement. But I would love to finally hear you address these concerns. I am genuinely concerned, and I am not a “copy and paste troll.” For days, I feel that many of us have been waiting for you to answer. PLEASE do so. I am willing to take on the extra cost, if you could bring yourself to be willing to take on the extra “burden.” People’s lives matter, and if the Congolese conflict were going on in any other part of the world, we wouldn’t stand for it. Please begin to publicly address the concerns that many people are showing!
    Respectfully,
    Ann Richmond

  2. Lisa Shannon says:

    In a leaked industry memo, your lobby group states, “Because industrial supply chains are complex, and metals may enter an importer’s supply chain several levels below the importer’s first-tier supplier, no importer can be a guarantor the conflict minerals have not entered the supply chain…” What is Intel’s public position on this statement? Do you plan to take full responsibility for your supply chain? Guarantee it? That is the objective of the legislation.

  3. Lisa Shannon says:

    You industry group is pushing for an escape clause called the “reasonable care defense”. Do you support this clause? Or reject it?
    Your group crossed out language that would hold industry accountable for fraud, gross negligence, or negligence. Does Intel fully support tech companies being held accountable for fraud, gross negligence, or negligence when claiming your products are conflict free? Or not?

  4. Lisa Shannon says:

    Hewlett Packard stated- in the room with Intel, Motorola, and ITIC- that the bill in it’s fully enforceable state will cost less than 1¢/ product, and termed the expense “negligible”. It is not a disputed number. Are you willing to pay- or charge consumers- that extra penny to save Congolese lives?

  5. Elizabeth Hopper says:

    Dear Intel,
    As a concerned consumer, I would like you to publicly respond to the questions raised by Ann Richmond and Lisa Shannon in their comments. I call on you to support the current version of the Congo Conflict Minerals Trade Act, and to see that the bill is passed in its current form. Like many other consumers, I know that I have a choice about which companies I support with my purchases, and corporate social responsibility is a major factor in my purchasing decisions. Because of this, not only is supporting the current version of the Congo Conflict Minerals Trade Act the right thing to do, but it also makes sense from a business standpoint. Thank you for your consideration of my comments.
    Sincerely,
    Elizabeth Hopper

  6. Bob Digance says:

    I have read your policy and believe that if you are unable to identify the mineral origin you should discontinue using the supplier.

  7. Lisa Shannon says:

    Hi again,
    You said you would have the right person here to answer our questions. Any plans to do so?
    For the record, we said we would be delighted to have a PUBLIC meeting with Intel. Too many of these conversations have happened behind closed doors.
    We remain hopeful you will come around and claim your place as the definitive industry leader! The price tag is so small- less than 1¢ per product, which your industry does not dispute- it’s hard to imagine what the hold up could possibly be. But we will celebrate you if you come forward presently! Listening to your buyers will make you human rights heroes.
    Best,
    Lisa

  8. Nathan says:

    Dear Intel Corporate Social Responsibility — I am the adoptive father of a Congolese orphan. Our family lives in Portland Oregon, where many Intel production and R&D plants are located. I write on behalf of the 5 million orphans who remain in DRC. They are sisters to my daughter. Most of these orphans lost their parents due to cascading violence resulting from DRC’s political instability — which as you well know, results principally from the local profiteeering derived from unregulated mining.
    I write you on a laptop powered by an Intel processor to tell you I would gladly pay 1 penny more per product to ensure fewer orphans in DRC. I work daily to overcome the social damages caused by conflict mining. You should too.
    Intel should align corporate goals with the text of the conflict minerals bill as written. The debt of conflict minerals should be carried by product purchasers, not “outsourced”, or paid for with Congolese lives. I am sure that’s what my daughter’s biological parents would have wanted. I know they would be proud to see her successes here in the USA. And how diligently she does her homework. On a netbook powered by an Intel processor.

  9. Philip Hedges says:

    I have read the policy and I think Intel’s stance is reasonable. Customers aren’t expected to determine if the labels in their clothes are accurate, nor that all the merchandise they buy in stores are labeled accurately. A company shouldn’t be required to assume the guilt of their suppliers. Any intentional fraud should be treated criminally, but being the victim of deception shouldn’t be criminal.

  10. Josh Hooten says:

    Intel, you sent Facebook fans here saying you’d answer our questions and nobody from Intel has posted here. What’s up? It’s starting to look like this was just an attempt to get people to stop posting about conflict minerals on your Facebook page.
    Please respond to the pressing questions being asked of you. 45,000 lives a month are on the line.

  11. Charlotte Hill says:

    I sincerely appreciate Intel’s effort to engage with NGOs and government officials in an effort to eliminate conflict minerals from your supply chain. Like other commenters above, however, I’m concerned that behind closed doors, your company is actually attempting to substantially weaken conflict minerals legislation. Can you guarantee that this is not the case? As an Intel supporter for many years, I’d love to know that you’re setting the standard in ethical supply chains, not undermining it.
    Thank you.

  12. Ann Richmond says:

    Intel, we’re still waiting. We were asked to come here specifically, that our concerns could be addressed. Any plans to actually make that happen?

  13. Ann Shannon says:

    Could Intel please explain how any of the changes it has asked for to HR 4128 STRENGTHEN the accountability measures contained in the bill rather than WEAKEN them? The truth is that it cannot, because every change is transparently designed to gut accountability from the bill and to circumvent meaningful change to the conflict mineral trade.

  14. We do support legislation, we just have a different view about what will work best and have the most impact. This week, the Senators included this issue in their Wall Street reform bill, a development that we are monitoring. This is not about cost to us – we are genuinely working to find ways to move things forward and help improve supply chain responsibility around the sourcing of these minerals. One of the big complicating factors is that it is difficult to know where the metals come from as they make their way to a smelter. There are legitimate mines in the DRC and we want to ensure that they are not crippled by the actions that are taken, further harming the region. Also, legislation is only one aspect of our approach – we have taken actions over the past year to raise awareness of this issue and engage our own supply chains in finding a solution, including:
    • Posted our Conflict-Free Statement about metals on our Supplier Site.
    • Requested that our suppliers verify the sources of metals used in the products they sell us.
    • Increased the level of internal management review and oversight, as well as our transparency and disclosure on this topic in this report.
    • Engaged with leading NGOs and other stakeholders to seek their input and recommendations.
    • Hosted an industry working session at our offices in Chandler, Arizona in September 2009 with more than 30 representatives from mining companies, traders, smelters, purchasers, and users of tantalum to address the issue of conflict minerals from the DRC.
    • Co-sponsored a multi-industry “call to action” meeting on extractives in San Francisco, California, with industry partners and Business for Social Responsibility in October 2009.
    • Funded a study with EICC members on defining metals used in the supply chain, and are working on a similar project to increase supply chain transparency for cobalt, tantalum, and tin.
    • Intel currently co-chairs the EICC’s extractives working group and was the first company in the electronics supply chain to conduct on-site smelter reviews. Through these reviews, which take place at locations around the globe, Intel is determining if smelters can verify the mines of origin for the ores they process.
    We respect and have listened to the many viewpoints expressed in this and other forums – as with many issues as complex as this one, while we may disagree on some points about how best to solve the issue, we do share the same objective to see peace come to the DRC.

  15. We do support legislation, we just have a different view about what will work best and have the most impact. This week, the Senators included this issue in their Wall Street reform bill, a development that we are monitoring. This is not about cost to us – we are genuinely working to find ways to move things forward and help improve supply chain responsibility around the sourcing of these minerals. One of the big complicating factors is that it is difficult to know where the metals come from as they make their way to a smelter. There are legitimate mines in the DRC and we want to ensure that they are not crippled by the actions that are taken, further harming the region. Also, legislation is only one aspect of our approach

  16. Rev. Heather Sparkman says:

    Intel,
    I am writing to ask that you support the Conflict Minerals Trade Act (H.R. 4128) as written without watering it down to make it less “burdensome” for industry. I am the mother of an adopted daughter from DRC and it haunts me to think of other women and children in DRC who are subjected to violence to due conlicts over minerals.
    I would gladly pay 1 penny more for Intel products in order to protect the women and children of DRC. I beleive that most Americans would feel the same way. I urge Intel to lead the way in corporate responsibility by advocating passage of the Conflict Minerals Trade Act (H.R. 4128)as written.

  17. Stori Sullivan says:

    Intel,
    I applaude you for your actions that you have made to raise awareness on this issue. I am now asking that you support the Conflict Minerals Trade Act (H.R. 4128) as written. The violence in the DRC must be stopped. I feel very responsible for having used so many products that may have included these minerals in them. I am an adoptive mother to two beautiful Congolese boys. I am a sponsor of a Congolese Woman. I volunteer for a nonprofit humanitarian organization that supports orphans in the DRC. And this is not nearly enough! The Congolese people are my family. As a consumer, I am asking you to help us be guaranteed that the Congolese’s blood is no longer on our hands.
    And of course, I would gladly pay 1 penny more for my products as would any American. But that is not the real issue here is it? It appears to me that you are concerned about the possible fines that you might accumulate by not being confident yourself that all of your minerals are conflict free. But holding everyone accountable for fraud, gross negligence, or negligence is the only way to end the conflict over the minerals. It is the only way to help stop the slaughtering of the Congolese people. I urge you to please take responsibility with me. Please support the Conflict Mineras Trade Act (H.R. 4128) as it is written.
    Thank you.

  18. Ann Richmond says:

    Hi again– I appreciate you finally making a post here, and you list some good things, but can you please answer the direct questions posed in the comments here?
    Respectfully,
    Ann Richmond

  19. Lisa Shannon says:

    Hi Suzzane,
    Thanks for the note. Unfortunately, you have still FAILED TO ANSWER ANY OF MY QUESTIONS related to Intel’s positions on specific suggested changes to the bill. Why is it so hard for Intel to speak publicly about an effort you have been spearheading behind closed doors to radically alter a bill that will soon be policy of the US government? What is Intel so ashamed of, if it is not about cost or self interest?
    We are all for dialogue, and understanding your nuanced position. What exactly in the S.891 and HR 4128 does Intel take exception to? What exactly is Intel willing to take responsibility for in your own supply chain- or not?
    I have repeatedly acknowledged- very publicly- the areas Intel has played a leadership role. I continue to commend you for this. I simply cannot understand why you refuse to speak openly on your efforts to REMOVE INDUSTRY ACCOUNTABILITY at a price of less than 1¢/ product. Your generic statements have fallen grossly flat. Please be specific and answer the questions outlined above.
    Thank you,
    Lisa Shannon

  20. micael says:

    I was very glad for a minute or so until I read the comments that told me that Intel seem to treat the Congolese people better with their mouth than their hands…
    I do very strongly urge you to support the Conflict Minerals Trade Act (H.R. 4128) and not water it down. Pleae put your words into action, so that I can feel secure next time I buy an Intel product. You don’t want me to boycott you, do you?

  21. Ms. Fallender,
    while I applaud Intel for taking all the steps you have described, these steps just aren’t good enough. We are asking that you FULLY support HR 4128. It IS possible to find out where your minerals are coming from, so excuses for not supporting the bill as written are not valid. Excuses such as “One of the big complicating factors is that it is difficult to know where the metals come from as they make their way to a smelter.” Determining the minerals’ origin is the core intent of the bill. Intel’s actions in trying to influence (i.e., to weaken or remove) the enforcement provisions in the bill are obviously meant to avoid being held accountable. We urge you to please support the Conflict Minerals Trade Act, AS WRITTEN. Thank you.
    Monica Johansson, Letters to Congo

  22. Shawny Le says:

    Thank you Ms. Fallender for the actions you’ve taken so far to help raise awareness on the issue. Unfortunately it is just not enough. Intel is in such a unique role right now to make a difference in the lives of millions of people, for just 1 penny per product which I think we would all agree the consumers would gladly pay if you will not. You’ve “Co-sponsored a multi-industry “call to action” meeting on extractives” which is remarkable and I’m sure in doing that you will recognize that this is our “call to action” for you. You are the ones that can make a difference. We are asking you, begging you, on behalf of the Congolese men, women and children that cannot to ACT now.

  23. Kenneth J. Connor says:

    OK, these protesters have gone out of their way to make a deliberate denial of services attack on the Intel Facebook page. They have cut&paste SPAMMED the Intel site with nothing but invective and misinformation. The proposal they support is flawed fatally and totally untenable. I see no reason why Intel, which is an acknowledged leader in peace and justice issues, should kowtow to this group of people who would stoop low enough to hijack a Facebook page. This is a blatant publicity attempt and an attempt to market a book. As a progressive myself, I am outraged that such a spam attack has been leveled at Intel. It is low grade and unworthy of real progressives…and I condemn their vandalization of a Facebook page.

  24. We continue to see a great deal of interest and passion for the conflict mineral issue. First, I want to thank those who have been following our blog and other sites like Facebook for updates and those who do recognize the steps that Intel is taking to address this very important issue. Let me assure you that we are listening to your comments and feedback and sharing them with the right teams inside of Intel who are working hard to address this issue.
    I am committed to keeping you regularly updated as we have more information to share. I will continue to post here at our CSR@Intel blog (see my May 19 post) and we’ll also alert people through Facebook, Twitter and other channels, referring them back to this blog often any time we have an update or more to share with you.
    Now, on to a few questions that have been posted.
    First, several of you have asked us why we take exception to the current House legislation. While we agree with the primary objective of the House legislation, we do not agree with certain provisions that in our view would create a layer of bureaucracy that generates more paper but does not solve the underlying problem. Specifically, given the complexities in the supply chain and our work over the past year on this issue, we don’t believe that the proposed reporting mechanism in the legislation (i.e. the import declaration form provision) is practical to implement. This will not serve the ultimate objectives of improving accountability and transparency. Our goal is to make sure we have the right systems and reporting mechanisms in place – we haven’t been waiting around for legislation on this issue and have been taking proactive steps to address this problem directly with our supply chain.
    Others have also asked whether we’re willing to take responsibility for our own supply chain. We’ve clearly outlined the steps we are taking to work with the suppliers in our supply chain in my previous posts, and I’ve also included our policy below (adopted in Nov 2009 and posted on our website) for quick viewing.
    Intel’s Conflict-Free Metals Policy
    • Intel takes very serious the allegations that metals mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo may be making their way into the electronics supply chain; and profits from this illegal mining may be fueling human rights atrocities in the Eastern Region of the DRC.
    • Intel expects our suppliers to comply with the Electronic Industry Code of Conduct and to only source materials from environmentally and socially responsible suppliers. Intel has systems and procedures in place to help ensure that our suppliers comply with these expectations; however, due to the complexities of the metals supply chain, we are currently unable to verify the origin for all metals used in our products.
    • In support of this, Intel will commit to:
    1. Trace and map our supply chain for tantalum, tungsten, cobalt, tin and gold
    2. Support development of independently verifiable supply chain transactions, when available and credible, to document the routes taken and intermediaries involved from mine of origin to final product.
    I will do my best to answer additional questions posted here that I can and will also update you periodically as I have more information.

  25. Jeremy Poindexter says:

    Kenneth, a group of dedicated people focusing their efforts on a single issue is different than spam. Would it be “spam” for hundreds of people to write letters to Obama asking him to fix health care? The fact that facebook is a public forum is the only difference.
    Intel, thank you so much for your understanding and communication in handling this issue. I and many others are appreciative of the steps you have taken and continue to take with regard to Conflict Minerals, and I am glad that Intel feels that this issue is an important one. Please consider why the steps outlined in HR 4128 as written are important and ensure that progress continues to occur on this issue.

  26. Kenneth J. Connor says:

    Apples and oranges, Jeremy…and you know it. This is a place for techies to learn about Intel products, not a place for soapbox politics. When you cut&paste, you are spamming…simple as that. The matter is off-topic for that page…and is best addressed through the Intel corporate website…as you well know. All you want is to use the forum as a private soapbox. Tell you what…most of the regulars have just gone back to lurk mode…so, you are pretty much preaching to your own choir.

  27. Kenneth J. Connor says:

    …and just to correct you on a technicality. Facebook is a privately owned quasi-public forum, so you have no 1st Amendment rights there.

  28. Ann Richmond says:

    Suzanne,
    Thank you for beginning to answer the direct questions! It is much more appreciated than general statements. Please continue to answer the remaining questions that have not yet been answered, and those that will be asked in the future.
    Respectfully,
    Ann Richmond

  29. Kenneth J. Connor says:

    Ann: Intel owes you precisely nothing…not onm answer, especially considering how you orchestrated a denial of services spam attack on them. It is you who owes answers, not them. You and your minions have done every political dirty trick in the book in an effort to discredit Intel. As a progressive myself, I am deeply ashamed of your actions and those of your minions. They take away from the validity of this issue. Please, take your conspiracy theories elsewhere.

  30. Jenn Farr says:

    “Intel shares the deep concern of many Americans about conflict minerals.”
    Hi! Canadian customer here. :-)
    I am glad to hear that Intel is already working on this issue. Can you say exactly how high up this issue is in terms of priorities?

  31. Dear Intel, I am asking you to lead
    your industry in an ethical manner, and I want to let you know that we consumers are willing to pay 1 penny more per product so you can achieve that goal.
    I already know the terrible social costs inflicted on the Congolese people. If any
    future cost can be prevented through consumer demand in the US for a more documented mineral trade, that should be endorsable.
    Thank you for your time.

  32. Chris Scott says:

    Suzanne,
    Thank you so much for taking it upon yourself to answer our many questions. Thank you for being a voice. I believe I can speak on behalf of my colleagues; we mean in no way to be inflammatory to the people of Intel, and we are sorry if anyone is offended.
    But to my point, I have been excited ever since I heard that Intel was on board in the effort to stop the conflict minerals flow. My only issue is that I have seen no support for HR 4128 as it stands. I only see backing for a watered down version of the bill. One with loopholes and clauses that do not hold you accountable. This will take out the spine of the bill. We are looking for someone to stand up and be responsible for their supply chain, instead of redirecting the responsibility to the the next level. Secondly, I honestly appreciate your efforts to eliminate the issue by working with the government and NGOs. Yet, behind closed doors, you seek to weaken the bill, so you may not be held responsible for your supply chain. “Your supply chain, your problem”. We are willing to pay the extra penny. Hell, I’m willing to pay an extra 10 dollars if it means it’ll cut off resources for the Congolese warlords. The objective is to have you, and other companies know where your minerals are coming from, and hold everybody accountable. Not to simply work with people to point fingers. What I’m saying is, support the bill as is, people’s lives are at stake here.

  33. Todd says:

    Intel does owe us answers we are their customers, if they want to continue making profits they should candor to this specific ‘niche’ market – like fair trade coffee.
    I understand your hesitance believing these “conspiracy theories” but if you research this and think critically you will most likely come to the same conclusion, and if not at least its an educated conclusion….
    I found out about this issue though researching about it myself 2 years ago in university. I suggest you to do as I did and research this issue and find your own conclusions.
    Todd

  34. Ann Richmond says:

    Thanks for the good laugh. :) Didn’t know any of us had “minions…” :) It’s given me a good chuckle today. But I’m not here to engage with you, Kenneth, or any one else, but to ask Intel questions on the page they have set up for that purpose.
    When a company creates a page, then asks concerned customers to go there in order to have their questions addressed, they do owe answers. Though yesterday was a start, and we do appreciate it very much, we are anxiously waiting answers, direct ones, to other questions. Specifically, questions posed by Lisa Shannon earlier on this page. They are valid questions, and should not be difficult to answer. Thank you very much for your time, Suzanne. Please answer the questions soon. Though it would be a large step for any company, obviously we’d love to start hearing clear-cut statements without the words “where possible.” Those words diminish and practically erase everything good that may be said before them. Thank you for your time!
    Have a nice day,
    Ann Richmond

  35. Thanks for your additional questions. I have noticed that a number of the questions here and elsewhere continue to reference the penny per product. As I noted in my previous post, that this is not about cost or a penny per product for us. I also responded to questions regarding the aspect of the House bill that we were concerned with from a feasibility/implementation perspective and why. I know that some people here may disagree, but this was our perspective based on our supply chain experience and the work we have done in the last year with others to identify effective solutions and needed industry action. Please know that we take very seriously allegations that metals mined in the conflict regions of the DRC are used in the electronics supply chain. This is why we have invested significant time and resources to engage with electronics supply chain and industry, customers, NGOs and political bodies to enable us to declare with confidence that our products do not contain materials from conflict regions. It is not about saving costs, for us it is about doing the right thing and leading on an issue where we believe we can make a meaningful contribution along with many other organizations and individuals.

  36. Suzanne Fallender says:

    Ann – saw your note this morning on your daughter’s blog complaining that we had not posted this comment. Neither of your submissions came through – are you sure you didn’t receive an error message? I have two ways of checking – on a web interface and through my email notifications on comments – and it does not appear in either. I have copied and pasted the text here for you to make sure it goes through and is posted. My apologies for the delay or any issue with the submission tool.
    Dear Suzanne,
    You stated in your last post here: “we are genuinely working to find ways to move things forward and help improve supply chain responsibility around the sourcing of these minerals.”
    I am tired of being argumentative with Intel…I really don’t like posing enemies. Fighting dragons is exhausting and, frankly, I am too old for it. I have other things I would rather be doing with my time. But the specific proposals that Intel has promoted in the ITIC behind-the-scenes lobbying efforts make your/Intel’s statement seem completely disingenuous and outright hypocritical. Every change it has sought to the legislation is obviously designed to circumvent any meaningful improvement in supply chain responsibility.
    One case in point of the MANY ways Intel/HP/ITIC has sought to undermine an importer’s accountability for its supply chain:
    1. Intel/HP/ITIC have sought to remove an importer’s responsibility to certify a Customs Declaration that the articles it is importing are “conflict mineral free” or “contain conflict minerals” as specified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States as having been identified in the Potential Conflict Goods List.
    2. It then replaces that requirement with the far more general requirement that an importer declare to THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE every 180 days that: a) it has implemented a system to determine whether its suppliers that produce such articles use metals produced from facilities designated to ‘contain conflict minerals’ or are ‘conflict mineral free’; and b) based on that system, which articles it has imported in the last 180 days contain conflict minerals; AND c) evidence that an importer has imported articles containing conflict minerals in the prior 180 days shall not prevent the importer from claiming the reasonable care defense.
    So basically, an importer has only to DECLARE it has implemented a system to determine whether articles it imported over the previous six months had conflict minerals.
    But THERE ARE NO STANDARDS OR DEFINITIONS OF WHAT AN ADEQUATE SYSTEM WOULD ENTAIL, OR FOR THE IMPORTER’S ENFORCEMENT OF ITS OWN SYSTEM, NOR ARE THERE CONSEQUENCES OR PENALTIES FOR AN IMPORTER’S FAILURE TO ENFORCE ITS “SYSTEM”! There is ZERO enforceability or accountability involved.
    FURTHER, reducing the importer’s obligation to making one declaration every 180 days to the Department of Commerce concerning all that it has imported in the prior 180 days, rather than certifying a Customs Declaration as articles enter the country is a ridiculously vague and general requirement that it appears to mock the objectives of the legislation. It is so transparent as to be laughable, if it were not for the fact that Intel/HP/ITIC seriously proposed it while there are 45,000 lives at stake every month.
    How could you or any Intel executive expect anyone genuinely concerned about those lives to take your professed good intentions at face value? How could Intel brass not expect the public to be choking on our rage at their hypocrisy? The evidence stands in clear and direct contradiction to Intel’s professed concerns about working toward “real change” on conflict minerals.
    What kind of fools do they take us for? (I know you are just doing your job, Suzanne, …and can only feel for you at how embarrassing that must be for you.) How much contempt does the CEO & Bd of Directors have for our intelligence and for the intelligence of the Senators and Representatives that are working toward meaningful legislation to stem the tide of the carnage in the DRC? I am speechless at the magnitude of your bosses’ arrogance, to think that they can continue spouting these platitudes while promoting such shameless amendments to this legislation.
    There are too many other issues, serious and complicated issues, for me to go into at the moment. But believe me, I will get to them, and I will continue to plaster them all over the internet, and I will be sending them to others to send to our Representatives and Senators.
    Intel cannot, and will not, get away with this.

  37. Nathan says:

    Hello Again Intel –
    I posted above on May 20th. I post again to let you know how disappointing and lackluster Intel’s response to date has been. As a consumer of many Intel products, I was excited to participate in a dialogue with Intel about how you could lead the electronics industry by voluntarily addressing the sourcing of conflict minerals within your supply chain. But it now appears that Intel has chosen to isolate the conversation. First, you have partitioned comments on your Facebook page. Second, you have organized your blogs page by most recent, rather than most commented — so the conflict minerals issue is at the bottom of the blogs page, rather than at the top (it does have the most comments of any blog). Third, it is reported today that some submittals to this blog are not being posted.
    Ms. Fallender recently indictated that the issue for Intel is not about the penny per product; it is “not about saving costs, for us it is doing the right thing and leading on an issue where we believe we can make a meaningful contribution.”
    Sounds good, but it is hard to reconcile the statements of Intel with what appear to be spin-control actions.
    I have been to DRC multiple times and walked in cities and streets and visited hospitals to see it for myself. I have held infants that subsequently died of malnutrition. More than 5 million people have died as a result of the original war and factionalization. It is a global embarassment that the world has barely even heard of the conflict minerals issue.
    I urge Intel to act now and get out in front of this issue. It IS possible to source metals all the way back to their mine of origin and unlike Intel, I believe it is “practical to implement” (your phrase of May 21). What I find impractical is a legacy of more lives lost and a continuation of crushing poverty in DRC as a result of… what’s a good phrase? How about “Corporate Social Irresponsibility”
    The saddest part for me is that nowhere here are the voices of the Congolese people. But it hard to comment on the actions of the No. 62 company on the 2010 Fortune 500 when your principal goal is to collect enough firewood to cook dinner for your family without being abducted and gang-raped.
    The people I work with in Congo? I take them laptops. Powered by Intel processors.
    Change is coming. With or without Intel’s leadership.
    Will you post this?

  38. Ann Richmond says:

    I have wanted to post here for several days, but have just been too sad. I am so saddened by how things have been handled and walked around. I feel like all of us are begging for clear answers, and all we are getting is semi-broad answers and statements that don’t actually open up to the root of the true problem. You stated you would take meetings, but you aren’t. I could go on and on, but you already know it all, and don’t seem to really care. (I feel badly that all of this frustration has had to be handled by one person, Suzanne, who I am sure is a very good person, and who has tried to do her job well and respectfully at what I am sure must be a rough time.)
    What Nathan said above is excellent. I second every word of it. I do believe that enough of us care, and that change is coming. I just hope that eventually you can be leader, rather than making everyone disgusted, Intel. I also hope that perhaps someday, Intel leaders will have the courage to speak on this issue PUBLICLY, rather than shunting it off to one poor lady on a hard-to-find blog.

  39. Intel, I’m saddened to know that we still haven’t heard anything concrete from you. Aren’t you getting embarrassed by all these posts from your consumers? How do you feel knowing that you’re contributing to the abuse of so many women and girls? Is that one penny per product worth so many lost lives? Is it worth losing 45,000 people a month? Please support H.R. 4128, fully, as written.

  40. Nathan says:

    Hello Intel — I last posted May 25th. You (Ms. Fallender) last posted May 25. I expected to hear more from Intel becuase I thought this was a dialogue. But when I read my last post, I realize I did not really ask any questions. Here is some relevant background:
    You state Intel is a member of the EICC and I see that you are listed as one. However, to be a member of the EICC, “Participants must regard the code as a total supply chain initiative” and that “Fundamental to adopting the Code is the understanding that a business, in all of its activities, must operate in full compliance with the laws, rules and regulations of the countries in which it operates.”
    Yet, Intel’s post of May 21 clearly states “due to the complexities of the metals supply chain, we are currently unable to verify the origin for all metals used in our products.”
    Here are some narrow questions to get a dialogue started:
    1. If Intel buys metals of unverified origin, why does it do so? Can it stop?
    2. If Intel buys metals of unverified origin, doesn’t that put it out of compliance with the EICC’s “total supply chain” code?
    3. If Intel knows it buys metals of unverified origin, can’t it go buy those metals from another supplier with total supply chain documentation? If these fully-documented metals are more expensive, you have also stated this issue is not about the cost, and as you know, Intel consumers support that position.
    4. If Intel want to ensure that legitimate mines in DRC keep working, can it identify any and use those exclusively for its supply chain? If it can’t identify any, then why raise that defense?
    5. Do the legitimate mines in DRC (assuming they exist and can be identified) offer the appropriate health and saftey equipment to their employees: hard hats, steeltoed boots, no child labor, etc., that bring legitimate mines into compliance with the laws and regulations of DRC, as the EICC code mandates?
    Thanks in advance for your answers.

  41. Thanks for the questions, I’m not going to cover each item point my point, but let me try to get to the core of your questions:
    First, we don’t typically buy metals directly, the metals we purchase are most commonly on a component or part, so we are often several layers removed from the actual purchasing of metals

  42. Rebecca says:

    Do you have any response to this last post dated June 1st? Or the one you posted for Ann on May 25th? Have there been any other posts since then that didn’t make it onto this site? I was very impressed with this exchange – with the fact that you published it on your site. Now it seems to have ended abruptly. Will you post this? Please answer this yes or no question: will you support Congo Conflict Minerals Trade Act as it stands – yes or no?
    If you don’t take responsibility for the components of your products, your use of the phrase “Corporate Responsibility” is pretty meaningless isn’t it? And if you don’t intend to respond to these blogs, it makes this a pretty empty gesture on your part as well.

  43. Stan says:

    Most posters to this blog are detached from reality. Just because the US congress makes a law, it does not mean that global compliance immediately follows. If all it took was a penny a product/device, this would be a done deal. Reality is not so simple. It is not about the money, it is about the inconvienient lack of understanding of the concept of “zero” in all the doo-gooders here. How does a company CEO, who has legal responsibility for any statement that affects a companies stock & status with the SEC make a statement as to ZERO conflict metals content? Do you think a huge company like Intel sends it’s purchasers across the planet in search of a good buy on some gold bullion, and it is just a matter of not buying them that plane ticket to the Congo? The simplistic postings here just demonstrate spoiled arrogance and an fantasy land mentality of thinking that if we just demonize and shame corporations we can fix the worlds ills. Intel is rightly concerned with preserving legitimate trade from the DRC. Grandstanding and moralizing will push the honest efforts of the entire supply chain to err in a way that has potential to harm people who are already in poverty. Ham handed government actions always have unintended consequences.