The issues of conflict minerals* are considered important by Panasonic. These minerals are mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and neighboring countries (hereinafter, "the covered countries"), and their extraction funds organizations that violate human rights, cause serious harm to the environment, perpetrate corruption, and are otherwise involved in illegal activity.
To fulfill our social responsibilities in our procurement activities, our policy prohibits the usage of illegally obtained conflict minerals as raw materials.
In the rare event that such use is discovered, efforts aimed at to terminate any usage must be made without delay.
To this end, a notice was issued in December 2010 to the entire group requiring a thorough approach to non-use. In February 2011, efforts began to require checks of our major suppliers' sources for procuring minerals.
However, in the covered countries, there are also companies and individuals engaged in legal business activities, with no connection to any illegal activities. We also must strive hard to ensure that such companies or individuals' business activities and livelihoods are not harmed by our efforts to avoid using minerals that are illegally obtained.
To this end, we need to cooperate with a wide range of stakeholders, including countries, companies, and Non-profit organizations (NPOs) that are taking measures to build fair supply chains of minerals in the covered countries. Based on these concepts, Panasonic has been participating in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, which began in August 2011.
Alongside our involvement in this project, we are also engaged in other efforts aimed at the implementation of the OECD guidance, building management processes that conform to global standards, with the aim of contributing to international efforts to resolve the problem of conflict minerals.
* Tin, tantalum, tungsten, gold