Although the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has a rich supply of minerals, its economy has collapsed due to decades of conflict. In an effort to prevent the purchase of minerals being used to finance war, many companies worldwide have stopped sourcing minerals from the DRC. Unfortunately, this has created a de facto embargo in a region where mining is often the principal source of income for local communities.
To overcome this issue and promote cooperation and economic growth in the region outside the control of the rebels, the Conflict-Free Tin Initiative was launched in 2012 in collaboration with the Dutch Government and other industry partners. This initiative introduced a tightly controlled end-to-end conflict-free supply chain from a tin mine in South Kivu, in the east of the DRC, all the way down to an end-product. The initiative has since been expanded to other mines in the DRC. In 2014 we decided to include this tin in the regular supply of solder, meaning it is now contained in many different Philips products sold globally.