Telecoms professionals have an important role in promoting conflict free telecoms. Here are four things that you can do:
1. Tell others in the industry
Not many telecoms professionals are aware of the link to the conflict in Congo and how the telecoms industry can play a positive role. Grow awareness by forwarding information about conflict minerals to your colleagues.
2. Contact the big electronics suppliers
This page allows you to enter a message once which will get emailed to the 21 biggest electronics companies. The default text is targeted at consumers however you may want to modify to show your support as an industry professional. Here is some suggested text:
I am writing as a concerned telecoms professional to voice my support for efforts to free the electronics industries of conflict minerals and cut off a source of funding for the violence in Congo. Please make sure your products are conflict free by implementing internationally recognised standards on due diligence as soon as possible.
In addition this page allows you to send a tailored message to electronics companies based on their performance to date in going conflict free.
3. Ask what your own corporate responsibility and procurement departments are doing
If you work in a firm that procures telecoms equipment, you can ask your corporate responsibility or procurement department, what they are doing to avoid ‘conflict minerals’. In particular, are they aware of the issue and the due diligence they can employ to achieve this?
4. Investigate your supply chain
If you work in a firm that produces telecoms equipment, and deal with suppliers of electronic components, then start investigating what your suppliers are doing to avoid conflict minerals. Use the OECD and UN guidelines as a guide to the due diligence to be undertaken. If your company is listed in the US then you need to be aware of the requirements of Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act.