How much does the use of “conflict minerals” in manufacturing hardware matter to most consumers?

ttopp

While getting my daily serving of red pandas and cats on buzzfeed, I ran across an article about protesters unhappy with Nintendo because they felt the company was doing too little to ensure “conflict minerals” (raw material from exploitive/violent places like mines in Eastern Congo). Obviously some people care deeply about this, and perhaps everyone should give it more thought, but it made me wonder, does the average person really care about what goes into the products they purchase? Would you choose a product based on the company policy about conflict minerals?

Topic: Business
Answer this Question

Answers

2 total
rousseau
Vote Up (10)

The reality is that there is a cost to someone for everything that is dug out of the earth, smelted, burned, refined, etc. It is also reality that there is a constant balancing of the scale as to what steps we are willing to take to minimize those costs. For some, emission controls on coal burning power-plants is too much of an expense, for others exploitive labor is another way of saying “those people” will work hard for low wages. So while conflict minerals are a valid concern, there are many other concerns as well, and many of those affect a greater number of people directly. It may not be just, but I do not see a strong swell of consciousness among the general population when it comes to conflict minerals. I am glad there are people that care, and care passionately, but frankly they are a small percentage of consumers, 

 

To be fair to Nintendo, the company does have guidelines that prohibit use of conflict minerals for companies that manufacture their products. I have no idea whether the contract manufacturers actually follow those guidelines, but they do exist. As a Japanese company, Nintendo operates under different rules and transparency requirements that American companies, so it may also be difficult to directly compare the effectiveness of their anti-conflict mineral policy

jimlynch
Vote Up (9)

My guess is that most people have never heard of it, and probably wouldn't care even if they did. Sad, but true.

Ask a question

Join Now or Sign In to ask a question.
Publicly, CIOs and CMOs say they get along, but in the dark recesses of the enterprise, tensions abound. Here's why.
For 14 years the Chinese government banned the manufacture or import of video game consoles. That ended last January and now Microsoft has beat the competition to market.
The expectation (or hope) that the CIO will be able to solve any IT crises that occur, is clearly not a sensible long term strategy.
New job listing data shows that demand for Python developers is up significantly
The good news: it's $39/month. The bad news: the price is only good for a year and there's a $99 activation fee.
Expect NASA’s new method for getting astronauts into space to hit the occasional snag
Journalists, nurses and plumbers are among those who drink more coffee than people in technology
Also, Disney, iHeartRadio and DramaFever get Chromecast support.
A new study of GitHub data reveals characteristics of successful open source projects
Google's decision last year to kill Google Reader, its RSS feed and Web-based service, allowed a tiny rival to grow into a company with revenue of at least $1.3 million a year.

White Papers & Webcasts

See more White Papers | Webcasts

randomness