Responsible Minerals

The findings of a survey conducted by Responsible Mineral Initiatives (RMI) indicates that the rebel groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoined countries adopt forced labor, child labor, and other illegitimate means in mining for minerals such as tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold (3TG) and sell these minerals in exchange for weapons, which eventually cause regional disturbances. Four minerals harvested from illegal operations are called conflict minerals.

Tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold, which are necessary materials for the functional operations of electronic products, are commonly used in resistor, inductor, CPU, hard disks, memory, motherboards, and connectors. ASUS is a brand that stands for human rights and environmental protection; as such, ASUS has a social responsibility to avoid the use of conflict minerals. To meet this responsibility, the ASUS Responsible Mineral Sourcing Policy was formulated which establishes a set of measures and has required suppliers to procure metals from qualified smelters to avoid illegal mining, which leads to human trafficking, arms coercion, child labor abuse, and ecological damage.

ASUS has worked with suppliers to implement measures under the Responsible Mineral Sourcing Policy that are based on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance:

 

We conducted analysis on the distribution of qualified smelters. They are located mainly in Asia and Europe, and none are located in known conflict regions.

 

We will continue to participate in the quarterly meeting of qualified smelter group held by Responsible Minerals Initiative to obtain the latest information, provide suppliers with qualified procurement sources, assist new suppliers to ensure the implementation of qualified smelter conversion plans, and maintain the goal of achieving 100% of tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold sourecd from qualified smelters.

 

One-third of the world's cobalt comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo and the nearby regions, and thus it was listed as the fifth conflict mineral by Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) in 2019.

Cobalt is the key material to manufacture the battery. ASUS also includes cobalt into the management of responsible mineral procurement and conducts annual due diligence investigation. Considering that the number of qualified smelters for cobalt at this stage has not been popularized, in order to avoid the outages, ASUS develops a five-year conversion plan which requires suppliers to increase the proportion of cobalt purchased from qualified smelters and reach 100% by 2025.

Besides, when performing the stakeholder engagement, we realize that some countries have employed child labors with low wages for engaging in illegal operations of mica mining, which has emerged as an issue that attracts the attention of human rights organizations. Mica is the main material of paint, and is mostly used for the external part of electronic products. For the mining of mica brings risk in the supply chain management, we continue to pay attention to the management requirements of mica by international organizations and will communicate with the supply chain in a timely manner.

 

[Case] Analysis of Presponsible Minerals in Products

Through the full material disclosure to analize the allocations of tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold in products, we are able to identify key suppliers as targets for implementing the procurement of responsible minerals. The total amount of tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold used in a notebook computer is about 11.6g, accounting for about 0.6% of the total weight of the product. The main uses are as follows:

 

ASUS Supply Chain Smelter List

ASUS RMI CMRT 6.1

ASUS RMI CRT 2.2

ASUS utilizes tools provided by the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) to investigate mineral sources within the ASUS supply chain. All smelters in the following RMI list are part of the ASUS supply chain:
http://www.responsiblemineralsinitiative.org/smelters-refiners-lists/

Tin is another essential metal used in electronics, and tin mining is often associated with environmental issues. As part of the Responsible Mineral Sourcing Policy, ASUS guidelines require that suppliers source tin responsibly. ASUS also participates as a member of the Tin Working Group (TWG) to support programs in Indonesia, one of the world’s largest sources of tin, which are dedicated to responsible and sustainable mining practices. Part of the Responsible Minerals Initiative, TWG is an initiative consisting of technology companies, tin mining companies, industry groups, and NGOs that work on addressing unsustainable mining’s impacts on local environments in Indonesia.

Please visit the website below for more details:
IDH: http://www.idhsustainabletrade.com/
TWG: http://www.responsiblemineralsinitiative.org/minerals-due-diligence/tin/