Tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold are used in a great number of products, including vehicle airbag systems, electronic and computer parts, airplanes, jewelry, X-ray film and metal finishes. These minerals have been designated as conflict minerals because the mining proceeds may be used to fund armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo ("DRC") or certain adjoining countries.
In the manufacture of computer systems, components, parts and materials are sourced from many suppliers in many countries such that the original source of the minerals used in one or more components is not always fully clear. Suppliers used to manufacture servers and other electronics products are many steps removed from the extraction, refining and trading of these materials, which impacts visibility into the original mine extraction operations.
On August 22, 2012, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted rules implementing conflict minerals-related disclosure provisions under Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Under this rule, impacted publicly traded companies must report annually to the SEC on their efforts to determine the use or potential use of conflict minerals in their supply chains. The first report must be submitted to the SEC in May 2014 covering the calendar year 2013.
While the global supply chain for these minerals is complex and multi-tiered and tracing them raises potential challenges, Oracle is committed to ethical business conduct and the responsible sourcing of materials through our global hardware supply chain. Oracle will conduct a reasonable country of origin inquiry of our hardware supply chain using a prioritized, risk based approach, and collect and evaluate supplier responses using an industry established reporting template developed by the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition ("EICC"). Oracle's conflict minerals review process will be audited by independent auditors as required under the applicable SEC rules, and Oracle will submit its reports to the SEC commencing in May 2014.
Additionally, Oracle is engaged with the EICC as part of a wider industry collaboration to address the issue of conflict minerals.