Samsung has vowed to improve its manufacturing processes after it admitted to using tin that was sourced through methods that damaged tropical forest, killed coral and disrupted communities living in Indonesia.
The smartphone giant was forced to address issues after a campaign by Friends of the Earth asking Samsung to reassess its use of materials mined from the island of Bangka (pictured above), as earlier reported by V3 sister publication Business Green.
In response Samsung has said it will look at its supply chains and is now working with “key electronic industry parties” to tackle the problems.
“Samsung Electronics works with numerous NGOs on many different subjects and will continue to do so in the future,” a spokesperson said.
“We are committed to upholding the highest standards of corporate responsibility, and we continue to evaluate our sourcing policies to ensure they comply with global standards associated with our industry.”
Friends of the Earth’s director of policy Craig Bennett welcomed Samsung’s commitment to improve its supply chain efforts and called on Apple to take a leaf from its book.
“It’s great Samsung has taken an industry lead by tracking its supply chains all the way to Indonesia’s tin mines and committing to taking responsibility for helping tackle the devastating impact that mining tin for electronics has on people and the environment,” he said.
“Rival Apple is already playing catch up on the high street in terms of smartphone sales – it’s time it followed Samsung’s lead by coming clean about its whole supply chains too.”
Apple told V3 it remains committed to the ethical use of materials in its products, whatever they're position in the supply chain.
"Apple’s commitment to social responsibility extends to the source of raw materials used in the manufacturing of our products," a spokesperson said.
"We require that our suppliers only use materials that have been procured through a conflict-free process and from sources that adhere to our standards of human rights and environmental protection."
Firms such as Apple and Samsung are increasingly in the spot light over the ethical and environmental manufacturing methods used to create their devices. Apple in particularly has come under fire for the way workers at Foxconn are treated, although it has since taken a proactive approach at addressing these issues. It has also pledged to improve its green credentials, claiming 75 percent of its energy usage comes from green technology.
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