The Russian Miracle Workers
DNA/STEM CELL HEALING COURSES Based on the fundamental principles of quantum physics and the regeneration techniques of with Carol Roberts • Coolangatta Beach QLD
procurement policies, support for corporate shareholder resolutions when they come up, or general support. At the latest count, more than 175 schools, colleges and universities had signed up. Individuals can lobby industry for conflict-free electronics and other affected items, with phone contact probably being a better communication strategy because a reference number can often be obtained for future contact.
While cleaning up corporate supply chains is sometimes presented as close to impossible, this has been contradicted by recent progress.
In the electronics field, semiconductor chip maker Intel has led the way, having spent two years since 2014 removing conflict minerals from its entire range. This was achieved by taking the bold step of setting up a network of independent NGOS to do auditing on the ground. Apple also says that it has made improvements, with an increasing number of smelters being audited.
Until recently, anyone wanting to buy a conflict-free phone had to choose between buying secondhand or doing without. Fortunately a Dutch social enterprise called Fairphone launched the world’s first conflict-free mobile in 2013, which sold sixty thousand units. Now it has released the Fairphone 2, which is on track to be sold outside Europe in 2016. This model is remarkable for being the first modular smartphone, and is also designed to be repairable, with replacement parts available. Availability in other parts of the world is likely to be influenced by demand, and the company reports that interest from Australia has been high. The Fairphone 2 sells for E525 (about AUD $780).
Fairphone is working at continuous improvement, one milestone at a time, providing a high level of transparency to would-be purchasers. Recently it achieved a supply of fair trade gold, and hopes eventually to achieve this for the other minerals too.
A further way to make a small impact on ending conflict minerals is to avoid throwing unwanted electronics in the garbage, where they are liable to leach toxic chemicals in landfill. If they still work, give them away via a network such as Freecycle. When electronics are responsibly recycled, minerals are harvested, displacing the need for new production. Many councils offer e-waste drop-off points, and the Mobile Muster program collects phones plus their batteries, chargers and accessories. n
Raise Hope for Congo www.raisehopeforcongo.org Conflict-free Campus Initiative www.conflictfreecampus.org Mobile Muster www.mobilemuster.com.au
Martin Oliver is a writer and researcher based in Lismore, Northern NSW.