"Conflict minerals" generally refer to tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold from mines and smelters that have directly or indirectly contributed to the financing of armed groups. Many of these armed groups are responsible for human rights violations. Specifically, some of the mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are controlled by militias responsible for atrocities that have been committed in that country's decades-long civil war, including acts of violence toward women and children.
Since Section 1502 on conflict minerals of the U.S. Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act) enacted in January 2013, requires company listed in the United States to investigate the use of conflict minerals mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its adjoining countries, and report the results. Toshiba Group is not a listed company but as a company in the supply chain of listed companies will investigate and report it to our customers.
- Prior to the enactment of the Act, Toshiba Group organized an internal system to address conflict minerals issues, and it established the "Toshiba Group Conflict Mineral Policy" and publicized it on its website in October 2011.
- In November 2011, Toshiba Group companies in Japan and North America have formed teams to address conflict minerals.
- In FY2010, training about conflict minerals was provided to Toshiba Group companies.
For humanitarian reasons, Toshiba Group's policy prohibits the use of raw materials such as tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its neighboring countries, which are helping to violate human rights.
Toshiba Group Conflict Mineral Policy
We are developing and implementing a policy prohibiting use of tin, tantalum, tungsten*1, and gold, whose extraction or trade supports conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo or adjoining countries, and/or contributes to inhumane treatment, including human trafficking, slavery, forced labor, child labor, torture and war crimes in the region.
We require our suppliers to cooperate with us in our efforts to assure procurement of non-conflict minerals in accordance with the Toshiba Group Conflict Mineral Policy.
*1Derivatives of cassiterite, coltan and wolframite
*2Global e-Sustainability Initiative (an initiative for achieving integrated social and environmental sustainability through ICT)
Toshiba Corporation's Actions Regarding Conflict-Free Minerals
Toshiba has actively engaged in the following internal and external activities to ensure that its products do not contain conflict minerals:
Conflict Mineral Survey
- In June 2013, Toshiba started a full-scale survey of some 2,800 suppliers that may use 3TG* on the use of conflict
and to collect information on smelters, using EICC/GeSI Conflict Minerals Reporting Template. Prior to the survey, we held a briefing session for suppliers to explain the procedures of Toshiba Group conflict minerals survey. Toshiba explained about the current situation surrounding the conflict minerals issue, and requested them to cooperate in the survey to identify smelters. 440 companies in all participated both in Japan and overseas.
- In FY2012, Toshiba surveyed some 10,000 Toshiba Group suppliers to clarify to what extent they understood the issue of conflict minerals and what approaches they took toward this issue.
- In FY2011, Toshiba conducted a pilot survey of some 300 Toshiba Group suppliers of our semiconductor department, etc. on the use of conflict minerals and about smelters.
- In November 2011, Toshiba began to survey the supply chains of its business units that produce semiconductors, hard disk drives and liquid crystal displays to determine whether conflict minerals are used in these product components. Toshiba plans to survey the supply chains of its other business units in 2012.
*Tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold (referred to as "3TG").
Efforts in Cooperation with Industry Organizations
- In June 2011, Toshiba joined the EICC (Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition) and attends meetings throughout the year.
Participation in Public-Private Partnership projects
- In November 2011, Toshiba joined the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA), a public-private project advocated by the U.S. government. Through the PPA, we contribute to efforts to cut off sources of funding for armed groups and provide economic support to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its neighboring countries.
Communications with NGOs
- In February 2014, Toshiba joined a CSR mission to the U.S. organized by the Council for Better Corporate Citizenship (CBCC) and held dialogues with the Responsible Sourcing Network, an NGO in the U.S.
- In February 2012, Toshiba exchanged opinions with NGOs such as the Enough Project in the U.S. and A SEED JAPAN, both of which are working on issues related to conflict minerals.
To ensure that our suppliers do not engage in inhumane treatment or acts that abuse human rights, we ask our first-tier suppliers (and their downstream suppliers) to abide by a code of conduct referred to as Supplier Expectations. We also conduct supplier audits to ensure that this policy is being followed. If any human rights violations are brought to our attention, we ask our suppliers to investigate the matter and take necessary steps to correct the violations.