Saying No to Conflict Minerals

Underscoring its long-standing commitment to social justice, Brandeis has approved a policy that addresses the use of conflict minerals in the university’s most commonly purchased and leased electronic items.

Brandeis now requires its suppliers of desktop and laptop computers, printers, scanners and copiers to share the annual reports that electronics manufacturers are required to provide to the Securities and Exchange Commission to demonstrate due diligence in auditing the sources and provenance of potential conflict minerals in their supply chains.

The U.S. State Department defines conflict mineral as any natural resource that is mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or an adjoining country for the purpose of financing the conflict in that region. This includes tantalum, tin, gold and tungsten, which are commonly used in the manufacturing of electronic products.

Earlier this year, members of the Brandeis chapter of STAND, a student-led movement to end global mass atrocities, advocated that Brandeis join the Enough Project’s Conflict-Free Campus Initiative, which calls on universities to commit to measures that pressure electronics companies to responsibly invest in Congo’s minerals sector. Brandeis’ Faculty Senate and Facilities Services reviewed the initiative’s goals and found them to be consistent with the university’s commitment to social justice, and university administrators agreed to develop a policy that was in concurrence.

“It is important to be on the right side of this issue, and this policy clearly demonstrates that Brandeis chooses not to contribute to the pain and suffering associated with conflict minerals,” says Interim President Lisa M. Lynch.

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