Intel released a corporate responsibility report, and its environmental goals for the next decade Thursday morning. Among the improvements the company is aiming for by 2013, according to the report, is a “conflict-free CPU”: a chip free of rare-earth metals that are most commonly mined for in environmentally irresponsible ways, such as in China, or from areas, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the human cost of mining is extraordinarily high.
“At Intel, corporate responsibility is a crucial component to the overall growth of our business,” said Michael Jacobson, Intel’s director of corporate responsibility in a statement. “From product to customer to employee to environment, corporate responsibility allows Intel to have a greater and more influential impact on industries, communities and the global economy.”
The report highlights four minerals that Intel will target for more rigorous supplier audits: gold, tantalum, tin and tungsten.
While these aforementioned minerals are normally sourced from Chinese mines or “conflict” areas, Canada has large reserves of said minerals – particularly tantalum and tungsten – that are mined with high environmental standards and respect for worker’s rights.
What Intel does, many other companies are sure to follow. Could this push for conflict free processors – beginning with next year’s Haswell – be a boon for Canada’s rare-earth mining sector?