Stanford STAND has made strides in urging its university administration to address the presence of conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in electronics products. The chapter has recently released a statement encouraging the university’s Board of Trustees to approve guidelines that will encourage companies to clarify the origins of minerals used in electronics products:
STAND is excited about the APIR-L’s decision to recommend to the University a proxy voting guideline regarding minerals fueling the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. If approved by the Board of Trustees, this guideline will lead the University to vote in favor of future shareholder resolutions that encourage electronics companies to investigate the origins of minerals used in their products, an important step toward ensuring that they are not contributing to the ongoing violence in the DRC.
The mining of “conflict minerals,” like tungsten, tantalum (or coltan), tin, and gold, is at the root of a conflict in the DRC that has left an estimated 5.4 million dead. These minerals can be found in products like cell phones and laptops that we all use daily.
Stanford University, located at the heart of Silicon Valley, has the potential to play an important role in encouraging supply chain responsibility by electronics companies. To our knowledge, the Panel’s decision represents the first time a University entity has taken decisive action on this issue.
We hope that the Board of Trustees will vote to approve the guideline during its meeting in June.
The Stanford Daily covered the Stanford Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility & Licensing (APIR-L)’s decision regarding conflict minerals here.