Last night, Steve Jobs made his first public statement on conflict minerals, following a Sunday column by Nick Kristof in the New York Times, which heavily featured our recent campaign:
A reader wrote Jobs:
I’d planned to buy a new iPhone tomorrow – my first upgrade since buying the very first version on the first day of its release – but I’m hesitant without knowing Apple’s position on sourcing the minerals in its products.
Are you currently making any effort to source conflict-free minerals? In particular, I’m concerned that Apple is getting tantalum, tungsten, tin, and gold from Eastern Congo through its suppliers.
Looking forward to your response,
Yes. We require all of our suppliers to certify in writing that they use conflict few materials. But honestly there is no way for them to be sure. Until someone invents a way to chemically trace minerals from the source mine, it’s a very difficult problem.
I had sent a private email to Steve 2 weeks ago, requesting a meeting. I have now emailed Steve once more:
Thanks for your first public comments on conflict minerals. While I applaud your honest acknowledgment that the present certification system is not adequate, there is no question that minerals are, in fact, traceable and guaranteed conflict-free Apple products are possible. Apple has both the resources and capacity for innovation to help solve this problem.
I wrote you a few weeks ago as a loyal Apple consumer and leader of the recent grassroots outcry on conflict minerals (prior to the DC protest and NY Times piece) offering an in-person briefing with experts to learn about the human cost of conflict minerals and most importantly, solutions. Will you please meet with us?
I look forward to working together as allies on this critical issue. The human stakes simply could not be higher
On behalf of thousands of Congolese women and children, thank you for your consideration.