In 2011, Motorola Solutions and AVX joined forces and created the Solutions for Hope tantalum program to test the feasibility of responsible, traceable sourcing of tantalum from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to promote economic stability of the area.

This unique approach to mineral sourcing utilized a closed-pipe supply line and a defined set of key suppliers – mines (including artisanal cooperatives), smelter/ processor, component manufacturer and end user – identified in advance of initiating the project.

Over the past 4 years, the program has successfully demonstrated the following:

  • It is feasible for downstream companies to establish supply chains originating with conflict-free mines in regions impacted by conflict;
  • These supply chains can be independently validated as conflict-free, thus mitigating risks of in-region sourcing; and
  • Leaders from civil society support responsible sourcing from regions experiencing conflict and recognizes companies participating in SfH, as a complement to regulatory initiatives focused on transparency.

In 2012, the Dutch Foreign Ministry, Philips, Motorola Solutions, and other partners launched the Conflict Free Tin Initiative (CFTI), based on the Solutions for Hope model – further demonstrating proof of concept and market acceptance of this responsible sourcing approach.

In late 2013, with support from Motorola Solutions and Qualcomm, RESOLVE convened jewelers, electronics companies, refiners, producers, civil society organizations, and governments to explore opportunities to apply the model to gold. That group is formalizing and designing pilots to intervene in the supply chain to identify and support conflict-free gold sources in the GLR. For example, we are working to provide support for capacity building to miners, establish new models for in-region refining, and support collaboration between artisanal and large scale mining in the GLR.

In early 2014, we initiated a program in Colombia – Cadenas de Paz, or CAPAZ – to support transparency in that nation’s gold, tantalum, and tungsten sectors in tandem with peacebuilding and economic development efforts. Pilots will focus on testing validation approaches with local refineries; supporting formalization programs; providing a sourcing opportunity for artisanal scale miners and cooperatives meeting conflict-free standards; and capacity building at all levels of the supply chain.

Solutions for Hope tantalum, CFTI, CAPAZ, and these new pilots are examples of the benefits of proactive development-oriented intervention in supply chains. Solutions for Hope is a global platform for supply chain initiatives designed to promote transparency, responsible sourcing, and local community development. The Solutions for Hope model starts with small-scale, pilot projects, whose lessons are shared across projects and with the broader responsible sourcing community to scale up and maximize impact.