Responsible sourcing from conflict areas

Becoming a vehicle for change in the regions that need it most

We’ve set up four traceable supply chains in areas of need to source minerals from conflict-free or Fairtrade mines.

The challenge

The Dodd-Frank Act was passed to help ensure that electronics manufacturers aren’t financing conflict. It requires publicly traded companies to report whether they use tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and surrounding countries. As an unintended consequence, many companies completely stopped sourcing from this region.

Our approach

Instead of turning away from regions with a high risk of conflict, we want to do business in areas where we can have the greatest impact. To support economic development and encourage responsible mining practices in the DRC and beyond, we’re partnering with a variety of initiatives to set up transparent supply chains for the essential minerals used in our phones.

Besides the DRC, other regions also face huge social and environmental costs because of tin extraction. Banka Belitung in Indonesia, is one of such examples where tin mining has devastating consequences. If more sustainable tin from Banka becomes available as a result of the current work by the Indonesian tin working group, Fairphone will make a serious effort to include this tin in its supply chain.

Timeline

Now

Latest steps in the improvement of cobalt supply shain

14 June 2018 project update

We’re excited to announce that we have expanded our cobalt partnership: fellow electronics manufacturer Philips Lighting has joined our efforts! Together, we’ll work to connect cobalt from artisanal mine sites that meet baseline standards to our battery supply chains, and will source it through Huayou Cobalt.

In addition, we’ll collaborate to develop programs that focus on health and safety and fairer incomes for local ASM miners. As a first step, we’re joining forces with the Better Cobalt program to initiate monitoring at selected mine sites. This will give us more insight into the issues miners face and help us develop a clear road map for improvements.

A closer look at our efforts to improve cobalt sourcing

A closer look at our efforts to improve cobalt sourcing

Project Update, 14 June 2018: We’re continuing to make progress with responsible cobalt sourcing, and are excited to announce that we’ve expanded our partnership as lighting company Signify…

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On-site visit to cobalt mines in Congo, April 2017

On-site visit to cobalt mines in Congo, April 2017

Just a couple months ago in April, I went to the DRC together with team member Sylvain, to continue our quest for more responsibly mined…

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Zooming in on 10 materials and their supply chains

Zooming in on 10 materials and their supply chains

In February, I introduced you to the first steps of the materials scoping study that we completed with the help of The Dragonfly Initiative (TDI).…

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Fairer materials – a list of the 10 we’re focusing on

Fairer materials – a list of the 10 we’re focusing on

Because we want to change the way products are made, one of our principal aims is to support fair materials and incorporate them into our…

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The journey of a conflict-free mineral into the Fairphone 2

19 June 2016 video

How we got Fairtrade certified gold in the Fairphone 2 supply chain

How we got Fairtrade certified gold in the Fairphone 2 supply chain

Smartphones contain dozens of minerals sourced from every corner of the globe, including gold, which is commonly used in printed circuit boards (PCBs) as well…

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Washed tungsten from Rwanda (2014)

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Research trip: Visiting tin, tantalum and tungsten mines

Research trip: Visiting tin, tantalum and tungsten mines

In the middle of July, filled with curiosity and anticipation, Bibi and I packed our bags and boarded a flight to Kigali, Rwanda. After a…

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Conflict-free Mineral Legislation in the US and EU

Conflict-free Mineral Legislation in the US and EU

If you’ve been following our story on Precious Materials, specifically mining in DR Congo, then you know for Fairphone, the use of conflict-free minerals in…

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Announcing our participation in the "Solutions for Hope" project

Announcing our participation in the "Solutions for Hope" project

Fairphone is proud to announce its participation in the Solutions for Hope project. Working to fulfill a mission of respecting our precious minerals, we will…

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Together we can change the way products are made