HC Starck, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of technology metals and advanced ceramics, has received certification for processing conflict-free tantalum raw materials for the fifth time in a row. The corresponding audit was performed by the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), an independent organization, and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) as part of the Conflict Free Smelter Program (CFSP).
“Fair and responsible purchasing of raw materials from conflict-free sources is an unshakeable principle of our raw materials strategy,” stated Dr Andreas Meier, CEO of HC Starck. “We are delighted to have received this certification for the fifth year in a row. It proves that our strategy of focusing on sustainability in procurement of raw materials is the right one,” he added.
Independent auditors commissioned by EICC and GeSI visited the HC Starck locations that process tantalum in the United States, Germany, Japan, and Thailand in late 2015, checking in detail whether the locations meet the two organisations’ stringent requirements for processing of conflict-free raw materials. There were various steps the company had to complete in order to receive the certification, including proving that HC Starck has integrated a strategy that applies worldwide for avoiding raw materials that serve to finance or otherwise benefit armed groups into its business processes.
The company also had to demonstrate that it has an appropriate system that can be used to trace the origin of the raw materials used all the way back to the mine. In addition, HC Starck is under an obligation to be able to document that all of the raw materials purchased and processed come from conflict-free sources.
Alongside its cooperation with established, audited mine operators, recycling of secondary raw materials is another pillar of the HC Starck raw materials strategy. “Sustainability in the supply of raw materials is also expressed in one of our core competencies: recycling of technology metals,” Meier continued. “We use innovative methods to process production residue, slag, and scrap into high-quality, high-performance metal powders. Our goal in doing this is to make a significant contribution to practices of sourcing raw materials sustainably and with reduced environmental impact.”