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Nintendo criticised by conflict minerals advocacy group

Nintendo criticised by conflict minerals advocacy group

Fri 17 Aug 2012 8:21am GMT / 4:21am EDT / 1:21am PDT
Hardware

Report from the Enough Project gives company minimum score

Nintendo is in trouble with conflict minerals advocacy group the Enough project which claims it has made no effort to ensure the components it uses aren't funding paramilitaries in the Congo.

"Nintendo is, I believe, the only company that has basically refused to acknowledge the issue or demonstrate they are making any sort of effort on it," Sasha Lezhnev, senior policy analyst at the Enough Project, told CNN.

"And this is despite a good two years of trying to get in contact with them."

Out of 24 companies ranked by the Enough Project, Nintendo is the only one to score a zero mark. Nintendo reacted to the news with a statement that managed to avoid mentioning conflict minerals altogether.

"[Nintendo] outsources the manufacture and assembly of all Nintendo products to our production partners and therefore is not directly involved in the sourcing of raw materials that are ultimately used in our products," it told CNN.

"We nonetheless take our social responsibilities as a global company very seriously and expect our production partners to do the same."

Conflict minerals refers to any minerals like tin, tantalum and tungsten, purchased from troubled areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo where violence and human rights abuses are prevalent. The mines themselves are a hot spot for violence as military groups battle for control of them, and sales of the minerals fund further fighting.

Microsoft and Apple both received scores of 38, showing they have "taken proactive steps to trace and audit their supply chains, pushed for some aspects of legislation, exercised leadership in industry-wide efforts, started to help Congo develop a clean trade."

Sony received score of 27, meaning "more commitment and action on tracing, auditing, certification, and legislative efforts is required of them."

7 Comments

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
Nintendo always scores a 0 on these green and mineral reports because they don't provide an annual report on their green or mineral policies...not because they don't use green technologies or reduce their conflict mineral usage.

I'll never understand how you can score someone a 0 that way. Wouldn't the score of N/A be more applicable?

Posted:A year ago

#1

Kingman Cheng
Illustrator and Animator

945 161 0.2
My thoughts exactly Jim, they never asked to be scored and who made them boss anyway? Greenpeace Reloaded...

Posted:A year ago

#2
Obviously this advocacy group intends such scores as a form of pressure on companies like Nintendo to START providing that kind of annual report. I see your point about "N/A" vs zero, but as long as they make the reasons for the score clear in the Enough report, and (especially) as long as they're not getting hit with government penalties or something for their score on this, it strikes me as a legitimate form of pressure. Is there some injury to the company that I'm not seeing in this?

Posted:A year ago

#3

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
Keith, it's the same thing with the Greanpeace annual "green" report. Nintendo doesn't participate in the survey so they get penalized with a 0.

But the reports themselves are idiotic to be frank. Nintendo doesn't harvest these minerals nor manufacture any of their actual products. Ask IBM, STMicroElectronics, Broadcom, AMD, Foxconn, etc... But then you'll have to survey their vendors, and then their vendors, etc....

Asking Nintendo to spend millions to annually audit their entire supply chain and their supply chains supply chains just to take part in a survey with no materiel impact, as it were, that may or may not even change their irrelevant score is silly.

Posted:A year ago

#4

Tony Johns

520 12 0.0
This was reported on CNN?
I smell some sort of anti gaming agenda here,
I will refuse to talk any further on what is said on CNN after their horrible bashing over certain Japanese games that they have never even played.

Posted:A year ago

#5

Jma
Programmer

19 10 0.5
To be honest, I do think it is their responsibility to make sure their vendors (or the vendors of their vendors) are not involved in any weird business if they REALLY want to be socially responsible. I'm not saying they have to do it because of this particular survey, they should do it as part of their business. I don't see why it is not their problem if it is one step down their supply chain.

Posted:A year ago

#6

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 941 0.7
"Mineral Advocacy Group"... WTF man????

Posted:A year ago

#7

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