SCHAUMBURG, Ill. – July 7, 2011 – Motorola Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MSI) today announced the launch of the Solutions for Hope Project, a pilot initiative to source conflict-free tantalum from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to be used in Motorola Solutions products. Tantalum is a mineral used in capacitors for electronic products and is derived from the mineral coltan, which is in rich supply in the DRC.
- New legislation will require U.S. companies to disclose the use of certain minerals, including tantalum, in their products and to describe the process used to ensure the purchase of these minerals does not fund the illegally armed groups operating in the DRC.
- Because there currently is no recognized system to verify that the sources of minerals from the DRC are conflict free, efforts to secure supply chains have led to a de facto embargo of minerals from the region while such systems are being developed.
- Tens of thousands of people in the DRC depend on artisanal mining, many operating in regions where conflict is not present. Their livelihoods and the economic stability of the region have been threatened by the de facto ban.
- With the Solutions for Hope Project, Motorola Solutions and a leading tantalum capacitor supplier have worked with a defined set of key suppliers to create a closed-pipe supply line, with all suppliers – mine, exporter, processor, component manufacturer and end user – identified in advance. Tantalum will begin flowing though the system created by the Solutions for Hope Project by the end of July.
- This pilot project supports and is supported by the development and implementation of several initiatives already underway to establish a conflict-free infrastructure in the DRC, which are converging through the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR):
- Traceability program by ITRI’s Tin Supply Chain Initiative (iTSCi)
- Certification of mines by German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) Certified Trading Chain
- Conflict-free smelter program by the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC)
- Due diligence guidance and implementation by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Group of Experts
- The Solutions for Hope Project will create an initial flow of tantalum that will help enable miners to work and conflict-free systems to be developed in the DRC.
- An independent auditor will validate the Solutions for Hope Project so it can be used by other companies that wish to demonstrate a responsible supply chain while continuing to use DRC-mined minerals.
- Motorola Solutions and its partner will work with stakeholders to evaluate the pilot so that lessons can be embedded in other initiatives and the program can be improved and expanded.
Rich Valin, corporate vice president, chief procurement officer, Motorola Solutions
“While the problem of conflict minerals cannot be solved by one company or a single industry, the Solutions for Hope Project underscores Motorola Solutions’ commitment to responsible sourcing from the DRC. We have helped to create this supply line to demonstrate that the DRC can and should remain a viable source of conflict-free minerals. This tightly controlled supply line will ensure conflict-free tantalum for these capacitors and allow time for a much-needed conflict-free verification system to develop in the DRC.”
Assheton Stewart Carter, senior vice president, global engagement, Pact
“To respond to the intent of the U.S. Dodd-Frank law to eliminate conflict minerals and also to maintain the livelihoods of thousands of people in the DRC, we need a system that differentiates between ‘conflict minerals’ and legitimate ‘non-conflict’ sources. Transparently purchasing and promoting non-conflict minerals rewards clean trade. This is equally important as an embargo on conflict minerals. We welcome the Solutions for Hope Project as an important contributor with the potential to deliver ‘peace dividends.’ ”
Pact is a non-profit organization that has been working with the government of the DRC, members of the mining sector and Congolese civil society for more than seven years and has been the strategic advisor and on-the-ground implementing partner for iTSCi.
Website: Motorola Solutions
Website: Motorola Solutions Sourcing of Metals
U.S. Legislation: Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act