OnQ Blog

Continuing our progress toward a DRC conflict free supply chain

Jun 1, 2015

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Last month, Qualcomm Incorporated filed its second Form SD and Conflict Minerals Report with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for calendar year 2014.

Qualcomm has been contributing to efforts to responsibly source minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and adjoining countries since 2010, when we joined the Conflict Free Sourcing Initiative (then the EICC-GeSI Conflict Minerals Working Group). In 2010 we also published our first Conflict Free Minerals Policy.

Even before and since the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act in 2012, we have been collaborating with various industry coalitions and civil society groups to support the responsible sourcing of minerals, such as the ITRI Supply Chain Initiative (iTSCi), Conflict Free Sourcing Initiative, Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade and Responsible Sourcing Network Multi-Stakeholder Group.

We also conducted extensive due diligence to determine the origin of the minerals in our supply chain by establishing a strong company management system, identifying and assessing risk in the supply chain, and designing and implementing strategies to respond to risk.

Last year, we filed our first Conflict Minerals Report to document these efforts. For the 2013 calendar year, we received reasonable country of origin inquiry responses from 100% of the direct suppliers of our integrated circuit products. We also determined that our integrated circuit products are comprised of tantalum sourced from 100% Conflict Free Smelter Program (CFSP)-compliant processing facilities.

In fact, the Responsible Sourcing Network and Sustainalytics recently released Mining the Disclosures: An Investor Guide to Conflict Minerals Reporting, a report analyzing the first year of corporate conflict minerals disclosures, which recognized our efforts to be more transparent. After examining 51 companies across 17 industries with “high exposure” to conflict minerals, they determined that Qualcomm is one of three “leaders” in the quality of its 2013 conflict minerals disclosure, ranking us second overall.

Roawen Chen, senior vice president of operations at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., expressed our appreciation of this recognition. “Qualcomm is proud to be recognized as a leader in the effort to ensure industry supply chains aren’t supporting groups that commit human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or adjoining countries.”

However, he also stressed that partnership on these efforts will be key. “This is not a single company or industry effort—cross-industry collaboration, engagement with non-industry stakeholders and support for projects on the ground are critical to our effort to promote the responsible sourcing of raw materials.”

Our goal? To achieve DRC conflict free sourcing of materials used in our products.

Through collaboration with suppliers and industry peers, we continue to make progress: from calendar year 2013 to 2014, we noted that the number of CFSP-compliant processing facilities contributing to our integrated circuits products increased by 38%.  Also, we saw a 175% increase in our integrated circuit direct suppliers that used CFSP-compliant processing facilities.

We do not support a de facto embargo on minerals produced in the DRC. In 2014, approximately 6% of processing facilities reported by our direct suppliers were confirmed as sourcing conflict minerals from the DRC or adjoining countries, and all of those processing facilities have been validated as CFSP-compliant. 

If you’d like to learn more about Qualcomm’s conflict minerals program, please visit our website or read our white paper.

Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

Paul Guckian

Vice President, Engineering