Responsible Minerals

Electronic products use various metal materials with significant functions. Tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold are materials necessary for the functions of electronic products and can be used to produce resistor-capacitor, CPUs, hard drives, memory, motherboards, and connectors.

According to the Study on the EU's list of Critical Raw Materials, one-third of the world's Cobalt comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the nearby countries also have a risk of illegal profits. RMI listed Cobalt as the fifth conflict mineral in 2019. As Cobalt is a key material for the production of batteries, ASUS also included Cobalt in the management of responsible mineral procurement and conducts annual due diligence investigations. 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.

In our stakeholder engagement in the same year, we learned that the extraction of Mica in certain countries involved the use of low-wage child labor and illegal operations, and it has become an issue of concern for human rights organizations. Mica is the main component of coating used mostly for decorating the exterior of electronics. As the extraction of mica involves supply chain management risks, we will continue to pay close attention to the management requirements of international organizations for mica, and communicate with the supply chain whenever necessary.

ASUS uses Full Material Disclosure (FMD) to learn about the composition of ASUS products (refer to Circular Economy) and we also learn about the use of tantalum, tin, tungsten, gold, and cobalt in products. We manage the risks of shortages of key metals and identify parts with value for recycling.

[Case] Responsible Mineral Analysis of Laptops and Desktop Computers

In order to promote responsible mineral procurement, we identify our key suppliers and analyzed the use of tantalum, tin, tungsten, gold, and cobalt in laptops and mini computers. The main parts and applications are specified in the table below:

Global Conflict Mineral Survey

The United States passed the "Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act" in 2010. Section 1502 of the Act requires the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to enact legislation on "conflict minerals" to disclose whether the minerals used in the production are sourced from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and adjoining countries that use forced labor and inhumane treatment of labor. The Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) research discovered that the rebel groups in these regions use forced labor, child labor, and other illegal means to mine tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold, and sell them in exchange for weapons, thereby causing regional instability. These four types of minerals obtained through illegal means are referred to as conflict minerals in the international community.

 

ASUS Conducts supply chain smelter investigations in accordance with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) due diligence process.

 

According to the RMI survey results and the "Conflict Affected and High-Risk Areas" (CAHRAs)1 of the EU that became effective in 2021, ASUS surveyed a total of 316 suppliers in our supply chain for information on smelters’ distribution and the compliance of supply of materials for products in 2021. The analysis results showed that most of them were located in Asia which accounted for 63.9%. They were followed by those in Europe with 15.9% and those in Africa with 1%. They are verified as qualified smelters in the survey.

 

 

 

 

Note: ASUS began to conduct annual due diligence investigations since 2019

 

We participate continuously in the quarterly work meetings of the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) for the certification of qualified smelters to obtain the latest information and provide suppliers with qualified procurement sources. We also help them carry out investigations and corrections for non-compliant items and ensure the implementation of the qualified smelter conversion program to maintain and achieve the goal of sourcing 100% of Tantalum, Tin, Tungsten, and Gold from the conformant smelters.

Avoiding the use of conflict minerals obtained from illegal operations is ASUS' social responsibility for the protection of human rights and environmental protection as a brand company. We established the Responsible Mineral Procurement Policy, implement supplier management, and require them to gradually shift purchases of minerals to qualified smelters to prevent illegal operations that result in labor oppression, coercion, child labor abuse, and damage to the ecology.

 

ASUS Supply Chain Smelter and Refiner List

ASUS RMI CMRT 6.22

ASUS RMI EMRT 1.11

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/