Conflict Free Materials, Sourcing of Extractives
Knowles Electronics’ commitment to social responsibility includes the sourcing of raw materials used in the production of our products.
It is a requirement at Knowles that our suppliers use only materials that have been purchased via a conflict free process and from suppliers that follow our human rights, and environmental standards.
Conflict Free Materials are columbite-tantalite, cassiterite, wolframite, and gold. These minerals are then processed into tantalum (Ta), tin (Sn), tungsten (W), and gold (Au). The minerals that are mined from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and neighboring regions are believed to fuel political strife in the DRC.
The metals derived from these “conflict minerals” are used in minute quantities in electronic components consumed in automobiles, electronic consumer products, computers, and other non-electrical products.
United States Legislation
- July 2010 – President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act and the Consumer Protection Act.
- Section 1502 requires companies to file disclosures and reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission related to the use of tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold in their products.
- The SEC is in the process of finalizing the plans to implement these rules.
- Dodd-Frank section 1502 Conflict Materials, passed into law on August 22, 2012.
Requirements for Knowles Suppliers
- Identify which, if any, 3TG minerals are used in Knowles purchased materials.
- Identify the smelter and mine of origin used as sources for product supplied to Knowles.
- Provide a description of the actions taken to exercise due diligence on the sourcing of 3TG materials to assure that none originated in the restricted areas of the DRC.