Conflict-free Sourcing Initiative
Many of the metals used in smartphones and other ICT products, like tantalum, gold, tin and tungsten, are extracted in places like the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo under inhumane and illegal conditions. The parties involved in conflict in the region use the profit for activities such as financing civil wars. Telekom is actively committed to making sure that the devices it sells or the technology it used in its network infrastructure do not contain raw materials sourced under problematic conditions. The company works together with its suppliers toward this goal and is involved in industry initiatives. One of these initiatives is the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative, which is committed to the responsible, conflict-free sourcing and procurement of raw materials. The initiative's main instrument is the Conflict-Free Smelter Program. This program involves inspecting metal processing facilities and smelters. The facilities are inspected by independent auditors who determine whether the raw materials used there come from sources that are not involved in financing civil wars. Audit records are created for each type of metal processed at the smelters and can be viewed by the public. Contact addresses are provided to make it easier to report cases of abuse at extraction facilities. The program also makes sure that people reporting cases of abuse can do so anonymously.
The Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative was initiated 2008 by the Global e-Sustainability Initiative and the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC). Both global industry associations are committed to sustainable developments in the ICT and electronics industries.