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ABOUT General Electric (GE)
GE (NYSE: GE) is an advanced technology, services and finance company taking on the worlds toughest challenges. Dedicated to innovation in energy, health, transportation and infrastructure, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the companys Web site at www.ge.com.
Citizenship at GEis more than a program or a set of good intentions - it is a full-time commitment built upon cultural behaviors and actions. These actions are integrated with business strategy and have defined goals, strategies and metrics that make it actionable and accountable.
At the heart of GEs approach is a simple framework: make money, make it ethically and make a difference. GE is rigorous and deliberate about how it can help solve some of the worlds toughest problems. This approach is recalibrated often to address changing circumstances and challenges -- but the companys values consistently ground its views on whats important. For more information, visit the companys Citizenship Web site at www.gecitizenship.com.
Blood Diamonds of Ore: GE Takes On Conflict Minerals
The Democratic Republic of Congo is Africa’s second largest country, but also the continent’s most violent. Over the last two decades, foreign and domestic armies, militias and gangs of armed thugs have been waging war and staging rebellions that have killed at least 5.5 million people and displaced many more. The fighters sustain their troops with money from the DRC’s rich mineral deposits. Observers estimate that armed groups control half of the tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold mines in the vast eastern part of the country and generate as much as $225 million annually from the mineral quarries. “They may own the mines in the conflict region, or tax the mines or tax the trade routes used to export the minerals,” says Sandy Merber, counsel for international trade regulation and sourcing at GE.
Because manufacturers around the world use these minerals in everything from digital cameras and cell phones to paint and golf clubs, NGOs seeking to cut off the funding have pushed companies to audit their supply chains to reduce the risk that the minerals they are using may support the conflict. In August, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced a new reporting rule that requires listed companies to “publicly disclose their use of conflict minerals that originated in the DRC or an adjoining country.” GE, through its citizenship initiatives, has been working with companies, NGOs, investors as well as government agencies to foster a system that supports cutting out conflict minerals from the supply chain and improves reporting.
*This article originally appeared in RD Mag