Recent weeks have seen a swell of interest in corporate responsibility, particularly with regard to technology manufacturing and supply chains. Last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook affirmed his company's commitment to ethically and environmentally sound practices
, evoking sentiments that were echoed today in a similar announcement from Nokia. Seizing the opportunity to establish some goodwill among socially conscious consumers, the Finnish manufacturer has just released a policy outlining its philosophy on conflict minerals
-- metals like gold, tungsten and tin that have played a direct role in fueling civil violence and unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the document (linked below), Nokia acknowledged that it doesn't play a direct role in obtaining these materials, but emphasized its strict traceability requirements. All suppliers, Nokia says, must provide detailed information on the sourcing of its metals, going back to the smelter phase, at a minimum, and even to the mine itself, if necessary. The company also highlighted its adherence to guidelines established by the EICC-GeSI Extractives Work Group, which both Apple and Intel
have already joined. Granted, it's impossible for a single company to wipe out civil strife and human rights abuses in one fell swoop, but with this codified approach, Nokia hopes to at least "increase transparency, ensure responsible procurement by our suppliers and sub-suppliers, and drive positive change."