One of the most important ways that tech companies are doing good is through careful evaluation of the way they make their products. To that end, Intel has set out to ensure all its products are conflict-free by 2016, meaning they are produced without minerals that “directly or indirectly finance or benefit armed groups in the DRC [Democratic Republic of Congo] or adjoining countries.” In the short time since Intel formally launched the initiative in 2014, they’ve had success both in terms of changing business practices and in raising general awareness of the realities of the precious metals business in the Congo, where armed factions control many of the most valuable natural resources.
Intel and its partners in the conflict-free initiative, such as the Enough Project, have attracted the support of a number of notable names. One such celebrity is Robin Wright, a passionate activist in the area of conflict minerals, who joined Intel CEO Brian Krzanich at CES in 2014 to discuss the issue. Wright has also visited the Congo, taken her cause to D.C. policymakers, and worked on articles and films in hopes of raising awareness of the issue. Due to the early success of Intel’s program, industry insiders are now hopeful that the tech giant’s example will motivate their peers to follow suit.